When the Sydenham Sportsmen's Association decided to become involved with an egg collection, the first attempt was an upwelling egg box built from plywood at the club property.  We collected the appropriate sized stones from Ainsley Wood. This box was located inside the wire enclosure just above the swimming pool at Harrison Park. Each day, an SSA member would check the box and do the required maintenance.  Brown Trout eggs were used at this time. Interestingly, the water source was the same one we use today.

Eventually, we decided to build a hatchery on the Jim Weaver property using the spring-fed water of Weaver’s Creek.  After it was built, it was obvious that it was too small and a small extension was added using the rectangular gray tanks, still in use today.  Later we constructed the larger hatchery on the same site. Now the property is owned by the Ben Miller family where we have permission to operate.  At present, we have Chinook Salmon in the larger hatchery and year plus Rainbow Trout in the small hatchery. Dedicated volunteers do hatchery maintenance (cleaning tanks, picking dead fish, filling feeders, keeping records, etc.).  This maintenance is a 365 day a year job.

owen sound fishing derby boundaries

This background is necessary because it explains why we needed an Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular.  We needed a funding source for our hatchery programs. When the OSSS began in 1988, the committee had no idea whether anglers would come to Owen Sound and spend their dollars.  However, after the first year’s success, we knew they would. Over the 32 years, many improvements have been made. In 1988, we only had food available on the weekends, but hungry anglers were asking where the food was through the week.  That explained where the food booth came from and how it has evolved throughout history. As well, the beer tent has evolved from fish tanks full of bottled beer and ice to the draft facilities that are used today.

We knew that we needed a way to attract people to the “Fish Tent”, as it is called by the younger generation.  Now entertainment happens each afternoon and evening. In our opinion, the Salmon Spectacular has become Owen Sound’s largest social event and has developed into a Fishing Festival.

Each year, we publish an Outdoors Annual and invite you to obtain a copy to find out what is happening.  We also invite you to join us starting on the last Friday in August and ending on Labor Day Sunday in September.

2021 Derby Rules and Regulations


1. The OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM runs from 12:01 am., Friday, August 27, 2021 to 12:00 Noon, Sunday, September 5, 2021. 

2. All participants agree to abide by the Regulations of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, The Fisheries Act, The Department of Transport “Small Boat Safety Regulations,” and the Rules and Regulations of the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM. 

3. A contestant may only enter the number of fish permitted by the daily creel limit in any one day (no matter when caught). 

4. Each contestant upon registering to compete in the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM agrees to hold the sponsors, organizers, their agents and employees harmless from any liability of any nature and kind for any injuries and/or damages suffered during or after the period of the contest, by entrants. 

5. Derby Ticket purchases can be made at any of our retail outlets, or on-line at https://www. sydenhamsportsmen.com/the-derby/online-ticket-sales. Single registration tickets are $30.00 and Family registration tickets are $70.00. Methods of payment online are: VISA, Mastercard, Interact and PayPal. There are no refunds! 

6. Tickets purchased during the derby are not valid for participating in the derby on the day of sale. (A Derby ticket becomes valid the day after it is purchased!) 

7. Family tickets are available for all members of the immediate family, including children 17 years of age and under. (Children’s age is determined as of the date of ticket purchase). The Family Derby Ticket does not include grandparents, older brothers and sisters, grandchildren, as well as other relatives. 

8. The participant agrees that the decision of the Officials is to be final on all matters. 


9. Participants must angle only in the waters of Georgian Bay stretching from the downstream side of 10th Street bridge on the Sydenham River and the walking bridge on the Pottawatomi River at Kelso Beach, the Sykes S. bridge on the Big Head river, the mouths of Beaver River, Indian Brook, Indian River, Bothwell’s Creek and inside the boundary extending to a point 10mi (16km) directly north of Delphi Point, then to the Cape Croker Lighthouse. 

10. Fish caught only after legal derby registration, and caught within the boundaries per rule #9, and caught during the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM (see Rule 1.) may be entered. 

11. Only fish that are whole (not gutted) may be entered. Fish with a snag or foul hook mark, gaff or gill net mark, even if caught legitimately, will not be accepted. Previously frozen fish may not be entered. 

12. Entrants fishing from boats must ensure that all other occupants of their boat, regardless of age, are entered in this event, and be eligible to enter fish (refer to Rule 6.). Entrants must fish with only one rod per person at any time. 

13. Participants agree to allow official representatives of the derby to inspect their boats to ascertain that all occupants are entered, and that all persons in the boat are holding a valid ticket. 

14. Participants agree that the organizers may, at their discretion, hold any fish for biological examination and testing. 


15. Fish will only be weighed at the Official Weigh-In Station at the Georgian Shores Marina. The weigh-in station will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily, except the last day of the Derby, when it will close promptly at 12:00 Noon. Fish will not be weighed outside of the times indicated, except those entrants who are waiting in line by closing time will be allowed to have their fish weighed after closing time. 

16. Salmon and trout (Rainbow, Brown, and Lake trout) must weigh a minimum of three (3) pounds (1.36 Kg), to be eligible for entry in the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM. A printed receipt will be issued for each fish entered. 

17. All participants entering a fish must sign the official entry book at the end of the weigh-in station. By signing the entry book you are stating that you agree with all the registration information regarding yourself and the fish you are entering (species, weight) that is shown in the official weigh-in station records and the receipt. 

18. Each entered fish will have its gill plate punched, to prevent re-entry. 

19. Owen Sound provides the angler with clean water and edible game fish. Any angler found guilty of wasting his catch will be disqualified from the OWEN SOUND SALMON SPECTACULARTM. Any angler disqualified for this reason will have all prizes forfeited. 


20. One Random Daily Prize will be drawn for each of the categories (i) male, (ii) female (iii) child (age 17 and under). The weigh-in station computer will draw by random selection for each fish entry. 

21. The Derby has various random draws throughout the event for prizes. 

22. Grand Prizes will be awarded for the heaviest Salmon, the heaviest Rainbow trout, the heaviest Lake trout . The heaviest Brown trout will have a separate prize.. A complete prize list is posted at the Derby Headquarters and on our website at www.sydenhamsportsmen.com 

23. All Prizes must be accepted as awarded. The Grand Prizes must remain decaled as presented for at least one year from presentation. 

24. Each of the winners of the heaviest Salmon, the heaviest Rainbow trout, the heaviest Lake trout will receive a replica mount. The winners, in accepting these prizes, agree to allow the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association unlimited use of said mounted fish for promotional purposes until the conclusion of the subsequent Derby Awards Ceremony (September 4, 2022). 

25. Prizes will be awarded daily for the 10 heaviest Salmon and 5 prizes will be awarded daily for the heaviest Trout. 

26. In the event of a tie, prizes in question will be awarded on the basis of the earliest fish entered. 

27. All participants agree, upon winning a major prize, that they will submit to validity tests, if required, and will sign an affidavit confirming the fact that their fish was caught within the rules of the contest. 

28. Prizes not picked up by October 31, 2021 will become the property of the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association. 

29. Any participant guilty of an infraction of the rules will be disqualified from the contest, and any prizes will be forfeited. 

30. Early Bird Prizes 1st -Sportspal Canoe, 2nd - Mustang Floater Suit and 3rd -Lowrance Graph will be award for all Derby Tickets purchased up to and including Saturday August 7, 2021. Early Bird Prizes will be awarded on Monday September 6th to Thursday September 9th. Please visit our website for schedules of pick-up. 

31. The Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular will be following all COVID-19 Safety Guideline procedures and recommendations laid out by the Grey Bruce Health Department. Failure to adhered to the Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular rules at the time of our event could lead to removal from the tent and possibly disqualification from the derby. Please follow the rules that are set in place at the time of the event from August 27 To September 5, 2021. 

32. All prizes will be handed out on Monday, Sept 6 at the Stowaway Storage
on 20th St East.