DOUBLE SPRINGS - The Bankhead National Forest
held the 23rd annual “Kids Fishing Derby” on Saturday, June
13, in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week and National
Get Outdoors Day. The Forest Service, which hosts the yearly event to
help interest young people in wildlife conservation and outdoor
recreation, stocked a pond with about 350 pounds of catfish and invited
area youngsters to try their luck. The highlight of this
year’s Derby was the National Wild Turkey Federation’s
Take Aim” Shooting Booth. All children received a free
membership to the NWTF’s Jakes Club and a fishing derby t-shirt complements of
the Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association.
Over 60 children (with accompanying adults) from
surrounding counties came to the Black Warrior Work Center on the
Bankhead National Forest to compete for trophies in three age
categories. Contestants fished for approximately one hour and the
winners in each age group were decided by measuring the longest fish
caught by each individual.
The largest fish overall was caught by Tylie
Romero of Houston.
In the 5-6 year old age group, Robert Gilmore of
Houston took the first place trophy. Molly McDonald of Haleyville
captured second place.
Braden Luker of Addison won the first place
trophy in the 7 - 9 year old group. Nena Garrison of Double
Springs won the second place trophy.
In the 10 – 12 year old category, John
Linley of Haleyville took the first place trophy and Tucker Beck of
Nauvoo took the second place trophy.
In addition to the fishing competition, a casting
contest was held in which Tyden Steele of Houston won in the 5 –
6 year old division; Jon Hess of Haleyville won in the 7 – 9 year
old division; and Brilyn Dover of Addison won the 10 – 12 year
old division. All three received a new rod and reel and tackle
box as their prize.
The derby concluded with drawing for door prizes,
awarding of trophies to contest winners and a hot dog lunch. This
year’s event was funded by a grant to the Winston County Natural
Resources Council from the Winston County Commission, a grant from the
National Wild Turkey Federation, and the US Forest Service.
Sponsors of the 2015 Kids Fishing Derby included the Double
Springs Lions Club, the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater
Fisheries, Sipsey Strutters Moulton Chapter and Bankhead Beards and
Spurs Winston County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation,
Alabama Conservation Enforcement Officers Association, Winston County
Natural Resource Council, and the Bankhead National Forest.
A big “THANK YOU” from Smokey Bear to
everyone who continues to help make the Kids Fishing Derby a great