Roaring River State Park event attracts nearly 1,000 kids

Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Youngsters enjoy free fishing day Photo by Kerry Hays/Missouri State Parks Nearly 1,000 young anglers braved the heat to participate in Roaring River State Park's annual fall Kids' Fishing Day on Saturday. Youngsters enjoyed a day of free fishing and had the opportunity to attend an assortment of outdoor education classes.

Despite the heat, the annual fall Kids Fishing Day, held on Saturday, Aug. 20 at Roaring River State Park, was an overwhelming success, with nearly 1,000 children and youth in attendance.

Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager, said a total of 988 tags were issued for this year's event with 21young anglers catching their first fish. A total of 858 kids participated in last fall's event.

"With the heat and high gas prices, it was good to see so many people turn out and support Kids Fishing Day," Spurgeon said. "Friends of Roaring River had 70 volunteers on hand to help with the event."

The biggest catches of the day were Cory Nodine with a five-pound trout and Cheyenne Flores with a four-pounder.

A total of 1,267 children participated in the spring Kids Fishing Day despite cold, dreary weather. That number was up from 1,018 in 2010.

New to Kids Fishing Day activities and prizes this year was the "Night out at the River" drawing, which includes a one-night stay and dinner for two at the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center, donated by Roaring River Concessions.

"We wanted to be able to show our appreciation to parents who make the time to bring their children to this event," Spurgeon said. "This event draws kids from all over the state of Missouri and several neighboring states as well."

Winner of this year's drawing was Sabe Caton, of Boonville, and his daughter, Whitney.

Other activities included outdoor education classes, including Snakes Alive, Fish Cleaning and Furs and Skulls. Youth also had the opportunity to learn about the Missouri Stream Clean program, which promotes litter pick up, stream bank stabilization, water monitoring, mono filament recycling, workshops and mentoring programs.

Children who took part in the activities were eligible to select small prizes, including games, toys and books. Kids also had the opportunity to reel in one of 100 tagged fish or one of 60 lunkers that were stocked for the event. Children who landed one of the tagged fish were entered into a drawing for a savings bond.

"The high quality of Kids Fishing Day is directly tied to the participation of those who support this event with their time, donations and resources," Spurgeon said. "The event will only get better as a result."

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 following businesses and individuals served as sponsors for the 2011 spring Kids' Fishing Day at Roaring River: Friends of Roaring River Hatchery; Missouri Department of Conservation; Department of Natural Resources; Jim Rogers, Roaring River Concessions and David Waugh; Walmart Distribution Center; Cassville Walmart; Ramey and Pyramid Foods; Emmet Allen; Les Jacobs Ford-Mercury; Luck E Strike; B & P Discount; Pure Fishing and Tammy Cox; Zebco; Pinnacle Fishing; Lealand Lures; Cabela's; Academy of Sports; Roaring River Waterslide; Bank of America; Security Bank; Freedom Bank; Commerce Bank; Havener's Resort; Whitley Pharmacy; Krispy Kreme; Clarice Stephens; MAKO Fly Fishers; Charlie Stock, of Midwest Flies; Chris Berry, of Alpine Archery; Shannon Ostertag, of Reflections Taxidermy; Tammy Yelden and Table Rock Lake Water Quality, Inc.; Ron Moffet; Charles Knapp; Taco Bell; and Debbie Thurman.

In 2012, Kids Fishing Days will be held May 19 and Aug. 18.

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