Annual youth fishing derby draws hundreds
Jefferson County Parks and Recreation held their annual Youth Fishing Derby Saturday at the Izaak Walton League in Leetown.
The event, which has been a favorite of youth for 16 years, has seen a steady increase in participation.
Parks Director Jennifer Myers said that the event has been held at the Izaak Walton property for 15 years. Prior to that, it was held at Evitt’s Run in Charles Town at a park previously owned by the county but now a city park.
“This is a very family-friendly event,” Myers said Saturday.
More than 140 children participated in the derby which had several contests for everything from the size fish caught to the number of fish caught.
Myers said that there was initially a category for the number of types of fish; however, it became too hectic to record all of those kinds for each child as they lined up to record the length of their fish.
Park staffers were on hand to remove hooks from the fish and measure their length to later determine the largest fish and the smallest.
Many types of fish including bass, perch, sunfish and catfish were among the prizes hauled out of the lake.
Children who participated were in the running for any number of prizes for the their efforts. Partnering with Parks and Rec were Jefferson Security Bank and the Izaak Walton League. These sponsors remain constant from year to year and provide funds for prizes and prizes themselves to hand out to the children.
“This is a great community partnership,” Myers said “It encourages children to enjoy the outoors and allows these organizations to work with us on a great event.”
She went on to say, “We have been in discussions about offering the event two times per year instead of one as it has become so popular.
“We had 170 pre-register for this year. While some didn’t come, others came who had not registered. We didn’t turn anyone away.”
A decision will be made later this year.
Top 3 winners in each category
Biggest Fish: (7 & up)
CJ Prezzi, age 10, caught a 17.25″
Nicholas Richie, Age 12, caught a 15.5″
Alvin Haler, Age 11.9, caught a 14.25
Little Kids: (2-6)
Porter Bethke, age 6, caught a 13″
Julianna Nedorostek, age 4, caught a 12.75″
James Friend, Age 6, Caught a 11.5″
Smallest Fish: (7 & up)
Finn Dudley, age 7, caught a 4.25″
Adam Kimpel, age 8, caught a 4.75″
Jayden Dyer, Age 10, 5″
Smallest Fish (2-6)
Holden Waybright, age 3, caught a 3.75″
Bradley Herndon, age 4, caught 3.875″
Chase Alt, age 6, caught 5″
Most Fish (7 & up)
Xavier Jenkins, age 13, 12 fish caught
Kyle Vanover, age 10, 10 fish caught
Jacob German, age 8, 9 fish caught
Most Fish (2-6)
Dax Miller, age 6, 11 fish caught
Bailee Gordon, age 4, 8 fish caught
Allison Myers, age 5, 8 fish caught