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Hooked on Catfish

Annual fishing derby provides a great day of family fun

By Eugenia Jones

Approximately one hundred and thirty children, accompanied by family members and friends, cast their lines during the U. S. Forest Service’s annual Kids’ Fishing Derby sponsored locally by the Stearns Ranger District with donations from other area businesses and organizations. With 1,500 pounds of catfish stocked in the Barren Fork Fishing Pond prior to the event, most of the participating children, ages five to fifteen, hooked hefty fish.
A total of 620.36 pounds of fish were caught during the three hours of fishing derby time. The top three prize weights in the age bracket of five to nine were Colton Whitaker reeling in 19.31 pounds, Caylyn Daugherty with 23.59 pounds, and Anslee Ridner pulling in a total of 40.22 pounds.
For those ten to fifteen years old, Michael McCollum hauled in 41.13 pounds. Makenna Mann hooked a total of 43 pounds, and Emmanuel Meadows reeled in a whopping total of 57.43 pounds.
Sponsors for this year’s derby, in addition to the Stearns Ranger District-U.S. Forest Service and individual U.S. Forest Service Stearns District employees, included the following: Orie S Ware and Greenwood Lodge, Pine Knot Job Corps, Kroger, McDonald’s, Somerset Falls Family Park, Lexington Legends Baseball, Walmart SuperCenter, Cincinnati Reds Baseball, Simple Tymes, Beech Bend Park, First Financial Credit, Sweet Kreations, Knife of the Party Catering Co., Whistle Stop Café, Hollywood Wax Museum, Holly Daugherty, Josh King, United Trappers of Kentucky/Stacy White, Pine Knot Funeral Home, Big South Fork Scenic Railway, Kentucky Down Under Adventure Zoo, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Ale-8-One Bottling Company, Try-County Cineplex, Newport Aquarium, Somerset Cinemas, Dollywood, Snap Happy Jewelry, McCreary County Library, Operation Unite/Braxton King and Roger Owens, and Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Resources.
In addition to the excitement of fishing, those attending the derby enjoyed grilled hotdogs and hamburgers prepared by the Pine Knot Job Corps culinary crew and members of the Orie S. Ware Masonic Lodge. Stacy White, United Trappers of Kentucky, was on hand with numerous live snakes and frogs for children to see. Lots of prizes, including rods and reels and fishing tackle, were distributed to those participating in this year’s event.

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