Inaugural fishing competition raises vital funds for VMR
ITS aim was to raise money and awareness for Volunteer Marine Rescue Gladstone and the VMR Gladstone Family Fishing Festival achieved just that.
Nearly $4000 was raised for VMR Gladstone, a sum which included new and renewed membership to the service.
Eve Malone from Gladstone Fishing Network - who played a big role in getting the event off the ground - said there were 70 entries in the competition.
Money from each entry went to VMR Gladstone but there were plenty of other forms of revenue raised across the three-day festival.
"We had donations on (Sunday) and with the free sausage sizzle we got about $150 in donations and the Boaties Market raised about $300-$500, so it all adds up," Mrs Malone said.
"We had people enter who donated again - that's the type of generosity we have from the Gladstone community.
"No one had to pay for a sausage but I had people putting in $20 just to get one."
Mrs Malone said boating conditions restricted anglers to mostly estuary species with only a handful of reef species weighed in.
"We had about 52 weighed in and a lot were the same species - lots of bream, a few whiting, a couple of flathead," she said.
"We had our heaviest fish category which was a 2.55kg fingermark which was a really beautiful and impressive fish."
Mrs Malone said the fledging fishing competition was a success and hoped to improve and expand on it.
"VMR are already talking about it next year, the hype around it was fantastic and the presentation felt like a big party in your backyard with family and friends.
"Everyone was laughing and it was a nice, feel-good situation where everyone was included."
VMR Gladstone publicity officer Peter Cameron also agreed the day was a great success.
"The feedback I got was great and the good thing was it put ourselves out there and reinforced to people the importance of our service and to log on with us prior to a trip," Mr Cameron said.
"The people who came were very appreciative of what we are doing and we appreciate their support.
"We are very pleased with how it went and hope to run it again even bigger and better."