Contest-winner hauls in sturgeon

Interpreter, guide donated time for grand-prize win at recent event.

Sean Cathcart holds the five-foot-long sturgeon he caught near the mouth of the Vedder River with Big Valley Sport Fishing guide Mark Wilken.

Sean Cathcart holds the five-foot-long sturgeon he caught near the mouth of the Vedder River with Big Valley Sport Fishing guide Mark Wilken.

Sean Cathcart recently hauled in his first sturgeon ever, thanks to a local fishing guide and sign language interpreter.

Cathcart, who won the grand price of a a guided sturgeon-fishing trip at a recent event for the deaf, brought in a five-foot-long sturgeon on the Fraser River near the mouth of the Vedder River.

Cathcart, who is deaf, was guided by Big Valley Sport Fishing guide Mark Wilken and assisted by Abbotsford sign language interpreter Rhys McCormick, both of whom had donated their time. He had won the trip at a July event hosted by the Family Network for Deaf Children, and Deaf Youth Today at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery.

“It was really great to have access to this fishing excursion,” said Cathcart, who was joined on the boat by his eight-year-old daughter Abby and 12-year-old son Liam.

“I haven’t had that much experience fishing, and to be able to have the guide’s expertise interpreted was extremely helpful. Being able to ask my questions directly instead of writing everything down made the whole process much easier. Catching my first sturgeon was an amazing experience, and having an interpreter on the boat made everything smooth. I think that there should be more opportunities like this for deaf people after all, we pay the same taxes as everyone else.”