Kids line up at Lampe Park

Saturday's gray skies didn't dampen anyone's enthusiasm as more than 2,400 kids aged 3 to 12 lined up to try their luck at the 13th annual Kid's Fishing Derby at Lampe Park.

Moms and dads watched eagerly from the sidelines as young anglers cast their lines into Lampe Creek, where over 6,000 fish were planted for this weekend's event. Children were limited to two fish. Worms and Power Bait, the weapons of choice.

A student at CC Meneley Elementary School, 11-year-old Andrew Isherwood said he caught his limit in about five minutes.

"This is my first time here and it's a lot of fun," he said as he waited in line to weigh his fish, a beautiful Rainbow Trout. "I'm going fishing again, probably with my grandpa."

Gardnerville Ranchos mom Carolyn Barger brought her daughters Kaitlin, 8, and Alicia, 10. She said they look forward to this event every year.

"This is great for the kids. It gives them something to do besides hanging out and teaches them to appreciate the outdoors," she said. "We're going to Twin Lakes this summer. We've got an aluminum hull boat and we're going fishing. This is great practice."

Organized by a board of 15 local af-FISH-ionados, this all-volunteer effort is dedicated to introducing children to the sport.

"We love to see the kids get hooked on fishing, rather than drugs," said co-chairman Carolyn Fitzpatrick.

Due to the size of this event, the children fish in shifts, at 9 and 11 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. and the Derby continues today. Special needs kids had their own session at 4 p.m. Saturday and at each session, a trophy is awarded for the largest catch.

The children are divided, those 6 and under fishing in one area with a parent. Seven to 12-year-olds fish alone, with a little help from volunteers.

Fitzpatrick said the event wouldn't be possible without the cooperation of numerous sponsors and Douglas County's Parks and Recreation Department.

The Lahontan National Fish Hatchery and Nevada Division of Wildlife donate the fish for this event, 15-month-old Rainbow Trout, and the event has numerous sponsors, including Scolari's Food & Drug, B'Sgetti's and at Lake Tahoe, the M.S. Dixie.

Organizers are raffling off a Trek mountain bike in addition to many other prizes. Special T-shirts and hats, complete with Kids' Fishing Derby logo were selling for $6 to $8, depending on the size. The burgers were $2, the coffee and donuts 50 cents each and it's all for a good cause, the proceeds going to finance next year's event.


What: Kid's Fishing Derby

When: 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. today - reservations are required

Where: Lampe Park in Gardnerville


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