Spirits are high as folks are ready to begin heading out for the annual fishing derbies during the coming two weekends in Rankin Inlet.
Hamlet council approved the two derbies this past month, but also gave notice the events would be revisited if a confirmed case of Covid-19 were to occur in Rankin in the meantime.
Both derbies are only accepting local registrations as per Government of Nunavut policies.
The registration fee of $50 per household will apply to both derbies; the trout derby from May 15-18 and the cod derby from May 22-24.
Susan Hickes, a member of the four-person fishing derby committee, reminds Rankin residents that fish from any non-registered resident will not be measured, and people cannot have their fish measured under someone else’s name.
Hickes said the derby committee asks the community not to gather in groups and it encourages social distancing.
She said measuring will take place outside the Singiituq Complex, with recreation workers setting up a one-way lane for vehicles to line up.
“Once we are are done measuring your fish, we will ask you to leave,” said Hickes. “There will be no gathering around the area where we are measuring and we encourage social distancing.
“Prize announcements will be done via Facebook Live on the Rankin Inlet Fishing Derby page.
“From the reactions I’ve received, everyone’s happy about the announcement. We’ve been on lockdown, or whatever, for eight weeks and people are just tired of not working and always being home.
“The fishing derby is one of our community’s biggest events of the year and everybody’s really excited about the news we have the go-ahead this year.”
Hickes said at this point, she just hopes Mother Nature decides to cooperate as well.
She said she also hopes everyone will take care to travel out to their favourite fishing spots and back home safely.
“Our last step is to get all our registrations done and then we are good to go.
“I haven’t had anyone voice any concerns to me about loosening up the restrictions. Everybody’s really looking forward to it.
“We still don’t have a case of it and, hopefully, it stays that way until this pandemic is over.
“We want everyone to have a great time, but, at the same time, we also want them to travel safe and keep up their social distancing so we can all stay safe.”