May 27, 2009 Edition

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City of WR hosts fishing derby




Seven-year-old Trevor Smith shows off a catfish he just caught during the Fishing Derby Saturday morning at Stewart Park. An enthusiastic Trevor said, "If we cook this one tonight, I'm eating it!"
TD Photo ~ Frank M. Witowski Jr.
Frank M. Witowski Jr.
Staff Writer

The City of Walnut Ridge hosted the 10th annual Fishing Derby held at Stewart Park Saturday morning. The catfish must have been hungry Saturday morning because the three-year-olds to 12-year-olds were reeling them in left and right with smiles aglow.

Fishing Derby Coordinator Bryan Butts said he has coordinated the event each year, and the children are never disappointed. Butts said the pond is stocked with blue channel catfish prior to the annual event at no charge by the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission.

"It's amazing how many come out here with it being their first time ever fishing," Butts said. Other youngsters enjoy fishing at the derby each year because there are larger fish to catch.

Besides Butts, Park Supervisor Charles Spargo, Administrative Assistant to the Mayor Shirley Guy and volunteers Ted Thompson and Chantel Butts helped in various ways to ensure that the fishing derby was a success.

Parents, grandparents, siblings and other family and friends cheered on the children. Butts said there were approximately 55 youngsters competing in the Fishing Derby with 45 children having their fish weighed in.

At the conclusion of the derby, prizes were given. The award for the smallest fish went to Tamera Trinidad. Dalton Johnson caught the biggest catch, which weighed in at two pounds, five ounces. These two youngsters won a trophy and a rod and reel.

First, second and third place winners were announced as well. The breakdown is as follows: In the 3-6 year old age division: first place, Julia Brown (total weight of all fish combined 25 pounds, 10 ounces); second place, Ashland Moore; third place, Cailon Brown.

Ages 7-9: first place, Hailey Needham (combined fish weight of 12 pounds, 7 ounces); second place, Mason Boyd; third place, Silas Brown.

Ages 10-12: first place, Josh Jones (combined weight of 5 pounds, 12 ounces); second place, Skyler Jones; third place, Ashley Potter.

First place winners won a rod and reel and trophy, while second and third place winners won a tackle box.

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