Kids’ Fishing Derby keeps on rolling |

Kids’ Fishing Derby keeps on rolling

More than 1,000 anglers ages 2-12 turned out for the 2016 Kids' Fishing Derby at Lampe Park.
Dave Price |

Do not expect to see any changes Saturday and Sunday when the 28th annual Kids’ Fishing Derby is held at Lampe Park.

Once again, the derby is being held free for girls and boys ages 3-12. Willow Creek has been stocked with 4,000 fish (300 are tagged), equipment and bait as well as other essentials will be available, plus awards and prizes will be distributed to the young anglers. It’s all made possible by volunteers who take care of the details, from set-up, to the derby itself and then clean-up at the end. Many of those volunteers have been with the derby since its inception in 1990.

“It works year after year. We always get enough donations, we get enough raffle prizes, we usually get enough volunteers and then people show up at the derby,” said Steve Hamilton, derby spokesman and participant at every derby to date. “We’ve got a system that works and people seem to enjoy it. I can think of a number of examples where we’ve had three generations from the same family who have been part of this derby. We’ve had kids grow up and then either brought their own children or they’ve come back as volunteers … that tells you it’s a success.”

Volunteers are still needed for this weekend. The final organization and training session for volunteers will be held today at 6 p.m. at the Lampe Park Pavilion.

About 160 volunteers have already signed up, however, at least 200 are needed for multiple days. Volunteers handle such details as set-up and tear-down at the Lampe Park venue, registration, helping youngsters on the stream, fish cleaning, food and more.

On Thursday, Willow Creek is scheduled to be stocked with fish from the Nevada Department of Wildlife Mason Valley Fish Hatchery and from Desert Springs Hatchery in Oregon. The fish plant is tentatively scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and noon — depending on when the trucks arrive, according to Hamilton.

Youngsters will fish in four time slots on Saturday and three on Sunday. Registration is required for each of the designated sessions since space is limited along the creek banks. While lack of water has been a concern for derby organizers in recent years, that is not the case currently since Willow Creek is full. Hamilton doesn’t anticipate the excess of water to present any overflow problems.

“As long as we are there, we can control that,” he said.

The grand prizes for the raffle this year are a Mad Dog scooter, a kids quad and a $300 gift card from Sportsman’s Warehouse.