Nfld. & Labrador

Dildo Pond derby looks at changing rules to allow salmon

Organizers of a trout fishing derby say they'll survey all registered competitors in an attempt to determine a winner in a contest sidelined by salmon.

Organizers polling everyone who registered to fish in controversial derby

The biggest fish pulled from Dildo Pond has been ruled a salmon — and two runners up could be in the same boat. (Facebook)

Organizers of a trout fishing derby say they'll survey all registered competitors in an attempt to determine a winner in a contest sidelined by salmon.

"I want to give the prizes away," said Terry Snow, owner of Buy & Sell Magazine, which sponsored the Valentine's Day derby on Dildo Pond in Trinity Bay.

"I just want to put an end to this in the fairest possible way that I can."

DNA testing confirmed Friday that the top contender is a salmon. According to contest rules, the 5.6 pound fish would be disqualified.

The Dildo Pond fishing derby draws hundreds of entrants every February. ((Courtesy MNM Developments))

Snow said the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is trying to determine if two other potential prize winners are also salmon. But he doesn't want to wait for that information before deciding his next step.

Snow told CBC News on Monday that he is polling hundreds of derby entrants to ask if they are willing to retroactively open the contest to all types of fish — not just brown or brook trout.

"And we'll see what the reaction is of the people that we poll and hopefully we'll get a consensus," Snow said.

More than $30,000 worth of prizes are at stake.

Terry Snow is the owner of the Newfoundland and Labrador Buy & Sell Magazine, which sponsors the annual fishing derby on Dildo Pond. (Ted Dillon/CBC)

The angler who caught the biggest fish, Owen White, told CBC News on Friday that derby organizers should have known there were salmon in Dildo Pond, and set up a tank to keep the fish alive while they were weighed and measured.

"Why should I have to suffer for their lack of due diligence," questioned White, who has threatened to hire a lawyer.

"Next year, we'll make an adjustment to the rules," said Snow, who said neither he nor DFO realized there were salmon in the pond.

Snow said the uncertainty surrounding the 2016 winner should be resolved by the end of the week.

"I want to put an end to this. I need to put an end to it," he said.

"And I would like it to end with a happy ending."