How It All Began
There were several local individuals who believed that the trout stream had more potential than just being utilized for releasing trout into the river. The annual fishing event all started when Hatchery manager at the time, Richard Hale, and his wife, Lois, saw a need to provide a place for children to fish. Locals came together and formed a fishing derby committee to raise funds for the derby. In the summer of 1986, the derby started off with just a few local kids and it has grown throughout the years; last year, we estimated about 1,200 kids. A few years ago, two gentlemen, Jeff Powers and Russell McCord, took on the responsibility of seeking out donations. Shevawn Foley and Kayla Newell were asked to form a Fishing Derby Committee in 2017 because the work became too much work for two people. Their goal is to keep the derby free because they want to encourage children and their parents to enjoy a worry and expense free outing. Thanks to our donors and sponsors, this is possible. Their motto, "Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs", is used to encourage children to be active outdoors. During the derby, we give away outdoor related prizes such as: tents, bikes, fishing poles, sleeping bags, tackle boxes, etc..., have numerous other activities for participants to enjoy such as: basketball, archery, face painting, and casting. Also during the duration of the derby, everyone has access to food and drinks.