COLD LAKE – Age Friendly Cold Lake (AFCL) has concluded its third annual 2023 Cold Lake Ice Fishing Tournament, a fundraiser held from Feb. 17 to 19, raising thousands of dollars for the community organization.
Cathy Aust, manager of program development with the AFCL, was among this year’s event organizers. She said the fundraiser raised over $30,000 and funds will go toward the organization’s services and programs.
According to Aust, registration for the event was capped at 400 anglers, and it immediately sold out within seven days, to which she expressed her thanks to all the anglers who came out to give their support.
“[AFCL] provides services and programs for vulnerable, isolated, and lonely seniors,” said Aust. The funding raised will help seniors in the Cold Lake community who “really need” support.
“It was a great event, and everybody had an awesome time,” she said, adding that many people had been looking forward to it, and some people even booked holidays around the event.
Aust said the tournament is not just about fishing, reiterating that, “it’s also about us being able to continue providing services and programs to vulnerable and isolated seniors.”
Also, “the fact that everybody who came had an amazing time and had lots of fun, making new friendships, and a friendly competition... it’s a win-win for everybody,” said Aust.
The top prize for the Open Division went to Duane Klenk, who caught an 89.5-centimeter trout. Andrew Cleary won second place with an 87-centimeter catch. Ken Wychopen won third place with an 86-centimetre catch. Jason Laudin took fourth place with his 85-centimetre catch, and Sheldon Leamon won fifth with an 83-centimetre catch.
For the Youth Division, Nolan Sather won first place with a 75.6-centimeter catch. Lucas Watson won second place with a 75-centimeter catch. Taylor Salzl won third place with a 73.7-centimeter catch. Alexander Sutton won fourth place with his 73-centimeter catch, and Lea Jade Charest won fifth with a 71.8 centimeter-catch.
Best 3 Fish Combined
Jason Laudin also won the “Best 3 Fish Combined” with a total of 240.2 centimeters.