"I thought the day turned out very well considering the weather and the flooding that occurred across the area," said Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River State Park Hatchery manager. "We were spared the flooding for the most part.
"The river came up Thursday but went back down, and the water level was pretty decent on Saturday, but it rained almost the whole day," said Spurgeon. "The rain and the flood warnings that occurred across the area kept many people away."
Youngsters who did turn out for the annual kids fishing event received a free trout fishing tag and an assortment of educational materials and prizes. First Fish applications were completed by 33 young anglers.
In addition to a free day of trout fishing, kids had the opportunity to take part in a variety of outdoor education classes, including Snakes Alive, How to Fish Roaring River, Fly Fishing and Fly Tying.
Youngsters who attended at least two classes were rewarded with a free fishing tag and were able to select from a variety of small prizes, including games, books and toys. Kids who attended more than two classes were entered into a drawing for larger prizes.
Fly rods and reels and fly-tying kits were awarded to eight youngsters who entered a drawing by attending at least one fly fishing class.
MAKO Fly Fishing Club donated two fly-tying kits, which were won by Jeremiah Hoss, of the state of Nevada, and Zachary Johnson, of Chelsea, Okla. The club also donated two fly rods and reels, which were awarded to Brandon Philson, of Blue Eye, and Ashley Johnson, of Verona.
Kayla Philpott, from Gentry, Ark., and Seth Johnston, from Joplin, won fly rods and reels donated by David Waugh, Roaring River Concessions manager. Hunter Browning, of Aurora, and Alissa Allen, of Gentry, Ark., were awarded fly rods and reels donated by Charlie Stock, of Mid-West Flies.
An Alpine bow and buck target were donated by Chris Berry, a representative of Alpine Bows who taught archery classes during the kids' fishing event. Ethan Thornton, of Sparta, won the target, and the bow was awarded to Aiden Brown, of Monett.
Trophies for the largest fish and stringers were awarded during the closing ceremonies. Luke Naumen, of Wildwood, won the largest fish competition in the boys' division with a 12.92-pound catch. He also earned the largest stringer trophy with a stringer that weighed in at over 25 pounds.
LeeAnn Maloney, from Bolivar, won the largest fish competition in the girls' division with a 4.44-pound trout. Maloney also won the largest stringer trophy with a 9.72-pound stringer.
Young anglers who reeled in fish that weighed over three pounds were entered into a drawing for a free mount.
Lance Parson, of Racks and Rivers Taxidermy, donated a mount that was awarded to Maloney. A second mount, donated by Reflections of Wildlife, will be awarded to Madisyn Stickles, of Siloam Springs, Ark.
"A lot of volunteers turned out to help despite the weather and the rain," said Spurgeon. "They all worked together and got everything done and ready for the day. I was really impressed with the dedication of all of the volunteers."
Around 80 volunteers attended Kids's Fishing Day to assist young anglers. Volunteers represented Roaring River State Park, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
The 2010 spring Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River was sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Freedom Bank, Security Bank, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, Charlie Stock and Mid-West Flies, David Waugh, Jim Rogers, Roaring River Concessions, Academy of Sports, Walmart, Racks and Rivers Taxidermy, Reflections of Wildlife, Havenar's Fisherman's Inn, Tim's Fly Shop, Sports World and Flambo.
Roaring River will host its 2010 fall Kids' Fishing Day on Aug. 21.