First Miracle Lake Fish ‘n’ Fun Day raises about $24,000 for winter recreation at Norquay

Each of three Norquay groups, the snowmobile club, skating rink and curling rink received about $8,000 from proceeds of the first-ever Miracle Lake Fish ‘n’ Fun Day held on Miracle Lake on March 25.

“Our goal was to come up with an annual event that could be used to provide some much needed funds for our local winter activities,” said Brice Dahlin, an organizer. “Like most small towns we have only three winter groups: the snowmobile club, the skating rink and the curling rink.

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“Luckily, we are fortunate to have a group of community-minded people in Norquay that recognize the need to keep these services in our town,” Dahlin said. “The closure of any one of these groups would be practically impossible to come back from and would be a significant blow to the community.

“With these things in mind, we came up with the idea of a full day of fun, family friendly activities at a small local lake, located three miles southwest of Norquay that we are blessed to have access to and is very active with perch and northern pike.

“We put up a party tent to provide some shelter and house the beer gardens and the delicious smoked barbecue meals that were prepared by The Smoker Broker and his crew,” he said.

“There were three hockey rinks that hosted pond hockey with six regular teams and five youth teams of players aged 12 and under.

“While this action was going on there were 80 people out on the lake taking in the fish derby,” he said. “There were 16 perch weighed in and many smaller ones that were released, and there were 11 northern pike weighed.”

The largest perch weighed in at .83 pounds and was caught by Dwayne Kopeck of Canora. The second-place perch was caught by Violet Riehl, of Benito. In third place was Barry Griffith of Norquay. Placing fourth was Dwayne Kopeck, and fifth, Grayson Reine of Norquay.

The largest pike of the day weighed 8.88 pounds and was caught by Barry Griffith. Dwayne Kopeck placed second; Tyler Griffith of Norquay, third; Brent Malinowski of Wynyard, fourth, and Darcy Hofer of Norquay, fifth.

“The evening wound down with a nice fireworks show after dark,” Dahlin said.

“Although the day started off cold and windy, it did get sunny and warm in the afternoon which caused different problems by making the ice slushy.

 “However, even with these challenges it was a very successful day and each of the three groups was able to get approximately $8,000 put in their bank accounts.

“We will be making some small improvements next year and want everyone to keep an eye on Miraclelake.ca and Miracle Lake Fish and Fun Day Facebook page for pictures and updates about next year,” he said.

Dahlin recognized Prairie Soil Services for the use of the tent, tables, chairs, sound system and personnel to set it all up. He commended all of the volunteers that spent “hours of their time;” the numerous sponsors for their donations; Norquay Co-op, Lorne Zubko-Pattison Ag and Cabelas for the prizes, and the Norquay branch of the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation for weighing the fish and “for the work members have done making the lake into what it has become.

“Without everyone involved, this never could have happened.”