Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Annual Kids Fishing Derby Celebrated National Fishing & Boating Week

The Bankhead National Forest held the 21st annual “Kids Fishing Derby” on Saturday, June 1 in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week. The Forest Service, which hosts the yearly event to help interest young people in wildlife conservation and outdoor recreation, stocked a pond with about 350 pounds of catfish and invited area youngsters to try their luck.  A highlight of this year’s Derby was the National Wild Turkey Federation’s “Jakes Take Aim” Shooting Booth.  All children had the opportunity to practice their marksmanship and received a free membership to the NWTF’s Jakes club.
A total of 63 children (with accompanying adults) from surrounding counties came to the Black Warrior Work Center on the Bankhead National Forest to compete for trophies in three age categories. Contestants fished for approximately 1 ½ hours and the winners in each age group were decided by measuring the longest fish caught by each individual.

The largest fish overall, a 20 ¾” catfish, was caught by Desirae Yost of Danville.

In the 5-6 year old age group, Josh Freeman of Moulton took the first place trophy.  Owen Armstrong of Cullman captured second place.

Kamden Steele of Houston won the first place trophy in the 7 - 9 year old group.  Braden Luker of Addison won the second place trophy.

In the 10 – 12 year old category, Kelsey Hogan of Decatur took the first place trophy and Justus Logan of Moulton took the second place trophy. 

In addition to the fishing competition, a casting contest was held in which Tyde Borden of Hartselle won in the 5 – 6 year old division; Savannah Liverett of Double Springs won in the 7 – 9 year old division; and John Thomas Linley of Haleyville won the 10 – 12 year old division.  All three received a new rod and reel as their prize. 

The Derby concluded with drawing for door prizes, awarding of trophies to contest winners and a hotdog lunch.  The Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officer’s Association donated two lifetime fishing licenses as door prizes this year.  This year’s event was sponsored by a grant to the Winston County Natural Resources Council from the Winston County Commission, a grant from the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Double Springs Lions Club, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Sipsey Strutters Moulton Chapter and Bankhead Beards and Spurs Winston County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, and the Bankhead National Forest. 

A big “THANK YOU” from Smokey Bear to everyone who continue to help make the Kid’s Fishing Derby a great success.

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