Fishing Derby set for Saturday |

Fishing Derby set for Saturday

by Joey Crandall

Willow Creek is stocked and ready for the 23rd annual Kids Fishing Derby, which starts Saturday morning at Lampe Park.

“We started setting everything up Wednesday and we’ve just had so much great help to get there,” derby president Steve Hamilton said. “Some kids from China Spring came down and spent about four hours setting up the fences and they did a great job. We’re setting up the canopies and kids from Rite of Passage are helping us out.

“Everything is coming together.”

Trucks from Smith Valley and Mason Valley planted the Willow Creek pond Thursday morning with nearly 5,000 fish.

O’Banion’s Fish Hatchery in Smith Valley brought 600 trophy fish, weighing up to five pounds, and the Mason Valley Fish Hatchery brought 4,000 fish in the 9-12 inch range.

Hamilton said tickets are still available from Angler’s Edge, 1506 Highway 395, in Gardnerville until 5 p.m. today.

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“We never say no to anyone,” Hamilton said. “We’ve got about 1,250 kids signed up right now, but I could see it growing to 1,400 by the time the derby starts. We’ll also set up sort of a will call booth for people to pick up tickets that we weren’t able to mail. If they come here, we’ll figure something out.”

Aside from the setup crew, Hamilton said he’s expecting nearly 200 volunteers during the derby to help.

“This is our 23rd year and it’s always been free,” he said. “The reason it’s free is because a lot of hard work goes into raising money through donations. Businesses all over Northern Nevada pitch in to make this happen. They buy business banners or donate money or prizes. That’s how we’re able to continue doing this.”

Raffle sales and donations are ongoing to support the derby. Tickets cost $1 each or six for $5.

The grand prizes will be two kid-sized quads and a Traeger Pellet barbecue grill. In addition to the grand prizes, hundreds of other raffle prizes will be available. All proceeds go back to the derby to purchase fish, supplies and prizes for the derby.

For further information, contact Angela Gerhart at or 775-315-7734, or Steve Hamilton at or 775-782-0742.

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