Kids' Fishing Day attracts 1,174 youngsters
On Saturday, hundreds of families enjoyed sunshine and warm temperatures at Roaring River State Park during the annual spring Kids' Fishing Day. Free fishing tags were distributed to 1,174 children during the event.
Last spring, the youth fishing day attracted 1,267 children, and in the spring of 2010, the event drew 1,018 kids.
"It was a beautiful day, and the big fish were biting," said Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager. "It was really nice to see so many smiling faces this year along the stream."
In addition to free trout tags, youngsters who attended the event received an assortment of educational materials and prizes. First Fish applications were completed by 126 young anglers who reeled in their first trout during the event.
Children who attended the fishing event also have the opportunity to take part in a variety of outdoor education classes, including Snakes Alive, Fish Cleaning and Furs and Skulls. Youth were also able to sharpen their archery skills and air rifle shooting skills during the event.
Youngsters who took part in at least three outdoor educational activities were able to select from a variety of small prizes. Children's names were also entered into a drawing for larger prizes. Around 30 large items, including five bicycles, were awarded during the event.
Billy Barnett reeled in a 5.24-pound trout and earned the largest fish honors for the event. Allison Calentine landed a 4.72-pound fish, which was the largest catch made by a female youth angler during Kids' Fishing Day.
"We will do it again on Aug. 18, and it will be bigger and better than ever," said Spurgeon. "We would like to give a huge thank you to the volunteers and sponsors for without them this day would not happen."
In addition to the local community, Kids' Fishing Day volunteers represent Roaring River State Park, MAKO Fly Fishing Club, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri Department of Conservation. Around 85 volunteers assisted with the spring youth event.
The following businesses and individuals served as sponsors for the 2012 spring Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River: Friends of Roaring River; the Missouri Department of Conservation; the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; Jim Rogers, David Waugh and Roaring River Concessions; LMC Trucks; Walmart distribution center; Academy of Sports; Ramey and Pyramid Foods; Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury; Luck-E-Strike; B and P Discount; Pure Fishing and Tammy Cox; Zebco; Pinnacle Fishing; Bank of America; Security Bank; Freedom Bank; Commerce Bank; Havenor's; Clarice Stephens; MAKO Fly Fishers; Chris Berry; Tammy Trantham; Rod May; Ron Moffett and Charles Knapp; Conoco; Fastrip; Kwik T's; Pizza Hut; Kelty; and the Cassville Area Chamber of Commerce.