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GLIDE, Ore. - The 26th annual Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby began on Wednesday, January 31, sponsored by the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Douglas Timber Operators.
The derby runs for four days. The first day being student day, where high school students work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Rock Creek Fish Hatchery to learn about hatchery duties and spawning steelhead.
On Thursday, February 1, is Kid's Day. Young kids will be taken on guided fishing trips and jet boat rides.
Friday and Saturday are the popular catch-and-release steelhead derby. 35 teams will head out with fishing guides to see which one can get (and then release) the most steelhead.
Lastly, on Saturday night, February 2, the dinner and auction will be held at the Douglas County Fairgrounds. Staff said this is a popular event and draws nearly 600 people every year.
”So it’s just not a local community, it’s our big community. Because the Umpqua Basin is Douglas County, but there’s a lot of people that enjoy our Umpqua Basin and they’re happy to participate," said Dave Loomis with the Umpqua Fish Derby Committee.
Loomis said the event has grown so much in the 26 years it's been alive, and he can't wait to see how much more it grows. In the years of its existence, the derby has contributed nearly $1.4 million to fish habitat restoration projects.