Kids' Fishing Day attracts hundreds
Young anglers flocked to Roaring River State Park for the fifth annual fall edition of Kids Fishing Day on Aug. 19.
"We had a few less kids than last year," said Jerry Dean, RRSP hatchery manager. "I will attribute the decline in numbers to the extremely hot day, but everything went really well."
With around 80 volunteers, Missouri Department of Conservation employees and Department of Natural Resource staff members, 1,056 kids were able to participate in this year's fall event.
"I hope the kids take up fishing after participating in Kids Fishing Day," said Dean. "Fishing is a great sport, great for kids. We try to make it as easy as possible for the kids to enjoy it.
"We have a lot of volunteers available and stock lots of fish in the stream," said Dean. "We do everything possible to help get them started."
Nearly 400 kids attended at least two of the 30 different classes offered during the event. Those anglers were rewarded with a free fishing tag and were entered into several prize drawings.
Fly rods and reels were awarded to six youngsters during the Kids Fishing Day event. Other children won fly fishing accessories.
Spencer Clayton, from Mt. Vernon, and Chloe Baker, from Neosho, won fly fishing rod and reels donated by Charlie Stock of Mid-West Flies. Stock also donated Academy Sports gift certificates, which were awarded to Daniel Seamardo, of Fort Smith, Ark., and Andrew Koch, of Verona.
Tyler Thompson, from Hindsville, Ark., and Emily Boles, from Springfield, took home fly fishing rod and reels donated by David Waugh of Roaring River Concessions.
Bradley Peterson, of Belton, won a fly fishing rod and reel donated by MAKO Fly Fishing Club members Steve and Waymeth Werries. The MAKO members also donated a box of flies, which was awarded to Madison Johnson, of Joplin.
Klayton Baker, from Neosho, took home a fly rod and reel donated by Ryan Rusch of Lewis and Clark Fly Fishing Outfitters, of Rogers, Ark. Rusch also donated a box of flies, which was awarded to Blake Caitie and Hunter Berry, of Sarcoxie.
Over 90 prizes, including bicycles, Swiss army knives and fishing equipment were given away during the event.
R.C. Greninger, from Pryor, Okla., won the largest fish competition in the boys' division with a 8.26 pound catch. Greninger also won the largest stringer competition in the boys' division with a 23.28 pound stringer.
Baley Messbarger, from Berryville, Okla., won the largest fish competition in the girls' division. Her big fish weighed in at 7.96 pounds.
Bobbie Hoppingarner, from Vinita, Okla., won the girls' division largest stringer competition with 8.26 pounds of fish.
The 2006 fall Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River was sponsored by: the Missouri Department of Conservation; the Department of Natural Resources; Jim Rogers and Dave Waugh, of Roaring River Concessions; Charlie Stock, of Mid-West Flies; Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury; the Cassville Chamber of Commerce; Luck E Strike USA; Mark Jones of A Vision Taxidermy; Russ Pendergraft of A Vision of Wildlife Taxidermy; Tim's Fly Shop; Wal-Mart; Havenar's Fisherman's Inn; Ramey's of Cassville; Commerce Bank; Bank of America; Security Bank of Southwest Missouri; Freedom Bank of Southern Missouri; MAKO Fly Fishing Club; Lewis and Clark Fly Fishing Outfitters; Safeway Bakers of Joplin; and Academy Sports of Joplin.
Roaring River will host its next Kids Fishing Day on May 19, 2007. Two of these events are held at Roaring River State Park each year, one in the spring and one in the fall.