Over 1,200 youngsters fish RRSP
Sunshine and warm weather attracted hundreds of families to Roaring River State Park for the annual Spring Kids Fishing Day on Saturday. Free fishing tags were distributed to 1,215 children during the event.
Last spring, the youth fishing day attracted 1,174 children, and in the spring of 2011, the event drew 1,267 kids.
"It was a beautiful day, and the event turned out great," said Paul Spurgeon, hatchery manager. "We estimated over 4,000 people took part. We saw many happy families with their children having a blast. It was so nice to see all the community support.
"My staff is so encouraged by all the help and donations to make this day the best in the state," continued Spurgeon. "The bluegrass concert was an awesome addition to the day. Cody Cantwell produced a magnificent show with great bands and Baldknobbers comedy."
First Fish applications were completed by 42 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 How To Fish Roaring River. 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 enter a drawing for larger prizes. A total of 200 large prizes, including 150 rods and reels were awarded during the event's closing ceremonies.
Three boys and four girls reeled in big fish during the event. The lucky anglers included: Grant Preddy, 8, of Cassville; Billy Barnett, 15, of Udall, Kan.; William Phillas, 11, of Parson, Kan.; Shelby Blevins, 11, of Aurora; Joslyn Battrest, 7, of Kearney; Jessica Wheeler, 9, of Ash Grove; and Audrey Lowe, 10, of Purdy.
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. The event attracted 126 volunteers this year.
The following businesses and individuals served as sponsors for the 2013 spring Kids Fishing Day at Roaring River: the Missouri Department of Conservation; the Missouri Department of Natural Resources; Roaring River Concessions; the
family of Dr. Glennon Horner; Academy Sports; Cabelas; LMC Trucks; Taco Bell; Luck 'E' Strike; Whitley Pharmacy; Pizza Hut; Security Bank; BBQ Station; New to U; Freedom Bank; Subway; Les Jacobs Ford; Tractor Supply; Arvest Bank; R and M Tackle; Mako Fly Fishing club; Ron Moffett; Charlie Stock, of Midwest Flies; Bob and Kim Fiscus; Clarice Stephens; Hargus Marcel; Droopy Drawers; Baldknobbers; Spur of the Moment; Lonesome Road; Ozark Mountain Revival; Possum Holler Fiddlers; Leon Brown; and Charlie Fletcher.