Full load of fish ready for derby day
Willow Creek at Lampe Park is filled to the brim and the water is chock-full of fish.
Very large fish.
The 18th annual Kids’ Fishing Derby kicks off at 8 a.m. Saturday morning and will feature some of its largest fish ever.
“We had the option to bring in some bigger fish this year,” said derby board member Teresa Clark. “We ended up with some of the biggest fish we’ve ever had.”
Approximately 35 trout from American Trout & Salmon in Susanville, Calif., ranging in weight from 7 to 8 pounds, were planted Thursday morning, along with 750 Lahontan cutthroats (4 to 5 pounds each) and 2,000 fish from Mason Valley in the 3- to 5-pound range.
“They haven’t been fed in 21Ú2 weeks,” Clark said. “Saturday morning, they’re going to be ready to just jump into the ice chest if you open it up for them.”
But don’t get any ideas about sneaking down for some free fish before the fact.
“These fish are for the kids. We have citizen’s patrol and sheriff’s Explorers guarding the area at night,” Clark said.
“We’ll have volunteers out all day setting things up and keeping an eye on things as well.”
Derby board president Pam Rodrigues said that she expects this year’s crowd to be among the largest they’ve seen.
“We are seeing a lot of new names registered that we’ve never seen before,” she said. “That’s a sign that this event is growing. It’s a great thing to see.”
Even with an influx of registrations – the derby had 1,758 children registered as of Thursday with several openings still available for Sunday – the derby experienced a large boost in volunteers this year.
“It’s been great, the response from the community,” volunteer coordinator Trent Dowell said. “We have enough for about four volunteers per kid Saturday.”
However, there is still a bit need for help on Sunday.
“We’ll take as much as we can get,” Dowell said.
Volunteers are still welcome to come on board through Friday evening. Anyone interested in helping out can contact Dowell at KFDvolunteers@aol.com or at 267-2724.
The registration deadline is Friday as well. Saturday’s sessions are already full, but a number of sessions are still available Sunday afternoon. To register, visit the Douglas County Parks & Recreation office across from Lampe Park to register. There is no cost to register, which leaves this derby as one of the largest free events of its kind west of the Mississippi River.
Volunteers have been working throughout the week to prepare the park for the derby.
“We started on Monday with the water and we put up the fences Wednesday,” Clark said. “We planted fish Thursday and we have some last-minute detail stuff to take care of Friday, but we’re pretty much set.”
Trophies will be awarded for the largest fish caught in each session and there will be an overall winner for the largest fish caught.
Loaner poles are available to children who don’t have their own equipment.
Aside from the fish, the derby will have a snack bar running throughout the weekend with numerous other booths and raffles.
— Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.