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Fishing Derby Reels in 179 Participants

By Eugenia Jones

The weather was fine, the catfish were jumping, and with much of COVID-19 behind us, the U.S. Forest Service, Stearns Ranger District hosted a record-breaking “Kids Fishing Derby” at the Barren Fork fishing pond last weekend.

With COVID-19 forcing cancellation of the popular annual event for the last two years, everyone seemed eager for a good day of fishing.  Breaking the former record of 164 registered participants, this year’s fishing derby reeled in 179 registered participants ranging in age from 5 to 15.  Additionally, adults and younger brothers/sisters attended the event to cheer for their favorite anglers.  Everyone enjoyed grilled hamburgers and hotdogs.

Winners of the fishing derby for the age 5-9 category were: (1) Zaden Jones, age five with 9.11 lbs. of fish (2) Gracie Griffin, age five with 8.8 lbs. of fish and (3) Caleb Myers, age six with 5.31 lbs. of fish.

Top anglers for the age 10-15 category were:  (1) Logan Poynter, age thirteen with 8.62 lbs. of fish (2) Liam Trammel, age twelve with 7.59 lbs. of fish (3) Rylan Keith age fifteen with 6.32 lbs. of fish.

All fishing derby winners won fishing related prizes.  Additional prizes, including bicycles, tackle boxes, rods/reels, and other items, were awarded via drawings.

The event is hosted each year by the Stearns Ranger District U.S. Forest Service on the first Saturday of June.  Many individuals and organizations in the community enjoying donating prizes and food to the beloved event.  This year’s donors (of prizes and/or assistance) included the following:  Orie S. Ware and Greenwood Lodge, Pine Knot Job Corps, Kroger-Whitley City, For Goodness Cakes-Maygan Park, Somerset Cinemas 8, Knife of the Party Catering-Sean & Suzie Thompson, Oneida Walmart Supercenter, South Kentucky RECC, United Cumberland Bank, Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies, Snap Happy Jewelry, Curtis & Holly Daugherty, Dwayne & Andrea Wright, KY Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Operation Unite-Braxton King & Roger Owens, United Trappers of Kentucky-Stacy White.

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