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3rd annual Kids Fishing Derby aims to spark interest

June 8, 2018 GMT

BARBOURSVILLE - The nonprofit Union Sportsmen’s Alliance is teaming up with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 317 to host the third annual Tri-State Take Kids Fishing Derby - a free community fishing event that will take place from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, June 9, at Barboursville Park.

“Research has proven that outdoor-related activities such as fishing create participatory pathways for children to experience nature and help kindle a lifelong interest in environmental conservation,” Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s Dan Johnson said in a news release. “This event will help promote the importance of educating a future generation of American anglers from diverse communities and backgrounds.”


The fishing derby has grown in each year since it began. More than 100 children participated in the inaugural derby. That number more than doubled at last year’s derby. IBEW’s Andy Chapman said another large turnout is expected for Saturday.

“We’ve just had a great response. A lot of people have already signed up,” Chapman said. “We really don’t want to turn any children away. So we’re doing everything we can to accommodate.”

As an added bonus, more than $3,000 worth of outdoor gear - anything from hammocks to tents and sleeping bags - will be given away as door prizes at the event. Chapman said the derby’s main goal is to get kids and adults alike to enjoy the outdoors.

“It’s all about the smiles,” Chapman said. “The kids obviously have a good time, but so do the parents and the volunteers. Several of those helping with the event are returners from the last two years.”

This event is free and open to the public, but complimentary fishing gear is limited to the first 150 children. All participants must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or chaperone.

The event is timed to West Virginia’s Free Fishing Days, set for Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10. The annual program gives both residents and nonresidents a chance to fish in West Virginia for free.

The Division of Natural Resources offers several kid-friendly activities during Free Fishing Weekend, including the Bowden Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 9 at the Bowden Hatchery, just east of Elkins in Randolph County. At this event, the DNR provides bait and loans fishing poles so new anglers can experience the thrill of getting their first catch without having to buy equipment. Another long-running event also takes place the same day at Little Beaver State Park. These events are free, but participants need to register once they arrive.


The week before Free Fishing Weekend, DNR stocks catchable-size channel catfish in lakes at Babcock, Berwind, Blackwater, Cacapon, Cedar Creek, Chief Logan, Little Beaver, Moncove, Pipestem, Tomlinson Run and Watoga state parks, according to a news release.

For more information about fishing in West Virginia, visit www.wvdnr.gov, or check out the 2018 Fishing Regulations brochure available at license agents and online at www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Fishing_regs.shtm.

Send us your summer fun photos

From splashing down in a kiddie pool to splashing down in a first trip to the ocean, “helping” grandma garden to letting it all hang out at summer camp, we know families across the Tri-State are busy making memories during the summer months.

And we’d like to share your memories with our readers.

Send your summer fun photos - no fun too big or small - to news@herald-dispatch.com with the subject line “Summer fun.” Be sure to identify everybody in the photo by first and last names, let us know a little about the activity going on, and let us know who to credit for the photo.

Then look for your photos in future print editions of The Herald-Dispatch or online at www.herald-dispatch.com.

So grab your camera and load up on sunscreen, and we’ll see you in the paper.