Attendance down at fall kids' event
Hot, humid weather deterred many families from attending Roaring River State Park's fall Kids' Fishing Day on Saturday. Free fishing tags were distributed to 858 children during the event.
Last spring, the youth fishing day attracted 1,018 children, and in August of 2009, the event drew 1,414 youngsters to Roaring River.
"I think the event went really well, but the heat was a big factor in the lower attendance we saw this year," said Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager. "Everyone who came out had a good time though."
In addition to a free trout tag, youngsters who attended the event received an assortment of educational materials and prizes. First Fish applications were completed by over 40 young anglers who reeled in their first trout during the event.
Children who attended the fishing event also had the opportunity to take part in a variety of outdoor education classes, including Snake Alive, Fly Fishing and Fly Tying. Youth even had the opportunity to sharpen their shooting and archery skills during the event.
Youngsters who took part in at least two outdoor educational activities 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.
Instead of awarding trophies to youngsters who weighed in the largest fish or stringers, the event offered kids an opportunity to reel in one of 100 tagged fish and earn a variety of special prizes. According to Spurgeon, nearly 60 special prizes were claimed during the kids event.
"We had a lot of new volunteers come out to work tirelessly in the heat to man the booths," said Spurgeon. "I was truly overwhelmed by the number and dedication of the volunteers who came out."
Kids' Fishing Day volunteers traditionally represent Roaring River State Park, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Over 50 volunteers assisted with the fall youth event.
The 2010 fall Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River was sponsored by Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Walmart, Academy Sports, Bank of America, Roaring River Parks Alliance, Pure Fishing, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, Midwest Flies, Havenor Resort, Lazy A Restaurant, ALPINE Bows, Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury and Tim's Fly Shop.
Roaring River will host its 2011 youth fishing events on May 14 and Aug. 20.