Kent Is­land Elks Fish­ing Derby sets new records

Record Observer - - News - By DOUG BISHOP dbishop@kibay­times.com

STEVENSVILLE — On Tues­day, July 4, the Kent Is­land Elks, Lodge 2576, and the Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice Re­serve Of­fi­cers held their 14th an­nual Chil­dren’s Free Fish­ing Derby at Ter­rapin Park Fresh­wa­ter Pond in Stevensville. This year a record num­ber of chil­dren, 237, fished, top­ping the 2010 record of 203. They caught a record hum­ber of fish, 730.

This is a Catch & Re­lease pro­gram, so each fish caught had to be taken to one of sev­eral check-in ta­bles around the pond, where it was iden­ti­fied by species and mea­sured, then re­leased back into the pond by NRP Re­serve Of­fi­cers. The pond is kept stocked with a va­ri­ety of fish year round — cat­fish, large mouth bass, sun­fish, yel­low perch and blue gill are the most pop­u­lar catches.

Spon­sors for the event con­tinue to be Bass Pro Shops, Rita’s Ice Kent Is­land, Kent Is­land Sub­way, and McDon­ald’s restau­rants, Na­tional Fallen Fire­fight­ers, Mike’s Bait in Mary­land, and Pepsi Bot­tling Ven­tures.

This year, Bass Pro Shops pro­vided 100 loaner fish­ing rods for chil­dren who did not have their own to fish with and an­other 100 used fish­ing rods to be dis­trib­uted to chil­dren so they could have their own rod to con­tinue fish­ing af­ter the derby.

Bass Pro Shops of Hanover rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jerry Sauter and Cait­lyn Ni­codemi were present at this year’s derby. In years past, Sauter has stated, “This is the best chil­dren’s fish­ing derby I’ve ever seen!”

Many lo­cal busi­nesses also con­trib­uted silent auc­tion items to help fund next year’s derby. Fol­low­ing the three-hour com­pe­ti­tion, 8 to 11 a.m, sev­eral ed­u­ca­tional and en­ter­tain­ing ac­tiv­i­ties took place.

Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff Gary Hof­mann gave a brief but di­rect talk to the chil­dren who were present about opi­oid abuse and how deadly drug use has become. Fol­low­ing that, the Sher­iff’s Of­fice K-9 Unit put on a demon­stra­tion on how dogs are used in ap­pre­hend­ing law break­ers and sniff­ing out il­le­gal drugs.

A spe­cial “Save A Life” life­sav­ing wa­ter boat jacket game was played us­ing real lifeboat jack­ets, and talk­ing about why ev­ery­one go­ing out on boats should be wear­ing a life­jacket. Win­ners of the “Pa­tri­otic At­tire Con­test” were rec­og­nized, both adult and youth, and fi­nally, the many awards for the fish­ing derby were pre­sented.

The fol­low­ing youth were the top win­ners from all three cat­e­gories in four dif­fer­ent age group di­vi­sions: Ages 3 to 7 Largest Fish: Lu­cas Rid­dlee, 14 1/2 inch Large Mouth Bass

Small­est Fish: Derek Parker, 3 1/4 inch Blue Gill

Most Fish Caught: Noah Waller, 11 fish Ages 8 to 9 Largest Fish: Sawyer Hightower, 11 3/4 inch Cat­fish

Small­est Fish: Ai­dan Win­field, 3 1/4 inch Blue Gill

Most Fish: Summer Hooper, 37 fish Ages 10 to 11 Largest Fish: Say­lor, 15 inch Mouth Bass

Small­est Fish: Do­minic Mar­sico, 3 1/4 inch Blue Gill

Most Fish: 43 fish Ages 12 to 15 Largest Fish: Re­becca Merkel, 11 1/2 inch Yel­low Perch

Small­est inch Crap­pie

Most Fish: 34 fish

Grand Prize Win­ner was Al­li­son Say­lor for catch­ing the largest fish of the day, Henry Ball, Fish: Al­li­son Large 3 1/4 Cooper Hightower, the 15-inch Large Mouth Bass.

Each child re­ceived a tro­phy and fish­ing gear for prizes. The Elks an­nual goal for the derby is to pro­mote a day of fam­ily to­geth­er­ness. They of­fered their thanks to event Co-Chairs Kevin and Mike Kelly, both Elks mem­bers and broth­ers.

This year’s derby was ded­i­cated to the mem­ory of Past Kent Is­land Ex­alted Ruler John Wis­niewski, a long­time sup­porter of the derby, and KI Elks Schol­ar­ship Pro­gram for grad­u­at­ing lo­cal high school se­niors.

PHO­TOS BY DOUG BISHOP

The win­ners of the 14th an­nual KI Elks Chil­dren’s Free Fish­ing Derby hold their tro­phies and fish­ing gear fol­low­ing the event Tues­day af­ter­noon, July 4. Chil­dren shown in­clude, in no par­tic­u­lar or­der, Al­li­son Sanger, Re­becca Merkel, Alex Wa­gen­mann, Cooper Hightower, Henry Ball, Sawyer Hightower, Ai­dan Win­field, Summer Hooper, Lu­cas Rid­dlee and Noah Waller. Long­time spon­sors Bass Pro Shops rep­re­sen­ta­tives Jerry Sauter and Cait­lyn Ni­codemi are in the back­ground, and to the far right, Elks Drug Pre­ven­tion Mas­cot “Elmo” along with Nat­u­ral Re­sources Po­lice Re­serve Of­fi­cer/Elk mem­ber Kevin Kelly and KI Elks Ex­alted Ruler An­gela Meyer. Win­ners Do­minic Mar­sico and Derek Parker were not avail­able for the pic­ture.

Fol­low­ing the fish­ing derby, chil­dren were en­ter­tained and ed­u­cated by mem­bers of the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice K-9 Unit on how dogs can be used to ap­pre­hend law break­ers and sniff out drugs.

Win­ners of the “Most Pa­tri­otic At­tire Con­test” held dur­ing the an­nual KI Elks Chil­drens Free Fish­ing Derby, Tues­day, July 4, in Stevensville. From the left, adult win­ner Pa­tri­cia Du­val of An­napo­lis, the Elks Drug Pre­ven­tion Mas­cot “Elmo” and youth win­ner Ry­der Rives, 10, of Pa­d­u­cah, Ken­tucky, who was here vis­it­ing his grand­par­ents, Pete and Ar­lene Mer­rell of Stevensville.

Annabelle Moon, 9, of Wye Mills, shows one of the fish she caught dur­ing the 14th an­nual KI Elks Chil­dren’s Free Fish­ing Derby, Tues­day, July 4, at Ter­rapin Park Fresh­wa­ter Pond in Stevensville. Annabelle was one of the 237 chil­dren who joined in the fun.

One of the 730 fish caught dur­ing the Kent Is­land Elks 14th an­nual Chil­dren’s Free Fish­ing Derby, Tues­day morn­ing, July 4, at the Ter­rapin Fresh­wa­ter Pond in Stevensville is mea­sured.

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