Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular Derby expanding northward

The 2023 annual Owen Sound Salmon Spectacular derby is spreading its wings, or fins, as it expands north to the waters of Lion’s Head.

Chris Geberdt

The news broke at the annual Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) 2023 Owen Sound Conservation Dinner and Auction that was recently held at the Bayshore Community Center.

The association’s Chris Geberdt derby co-chair, said the move to expand the range of the Salmon Spectacular is a response to demand by anglers in the Lion’s Head area.


This is year 35 for the derby which attracts hundreds of anglers from across Ontario and neighbouring U.S. states. In recent years, the giant Salmon Spectacular derby included Georgian Bay waters from Colpoy’s Bay in the west, east of Meaford to Delphi Point near Collingwood. The new rule expands the range of the derby to the north.

Sydenham Sports Assoc. giant tent file photo

The SALMON SPECTACULAR is the largest fishing event of the year in Grey-Bruce. Average attendance ranges between 40,000 to 50,000 at the giant tent on the Owen Sound waterfront which is the derby headquarters. The derby involves hundreds of volunteers, 250 sponsors and prizes worth more than $200,000.

The 26th annual OFAH Owen Sound Conservation Dinner and Auction supports fish and wildlife conservation projects in the Owen Sound region and is the only one of its kind in Ontario so far this year. OFAH says “Conservation dinners are a great way to meet like-minded people concerned about Ontario’s outdoors heritage and future, while enjoying good food and great auction items.”

As Geberdt told those gathered at the Bayshore, “Your financial support helps us with the task of continuing our ongoing conservation work with our air, waters, forests and wildlife in our community and beyond.”  The Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association has been raising and stocking fish for the sports fishery since 1987.

It was clear that several hundred attendees left the Owen Sound event well fed, along with the knowledge that they have contributed to Ontario’s great outdoors.

Volunteer team members visit more than thirty Ontario events each year promoting this  fish festival. Team members will be out selling boat draw and derby tickets at the Toronto Sportsmen’s Show March 16th -19th 2023 at the International Center near Pearson Airport.