Kids, grab your poles and head to the fishing derby



The Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery Kids Fishing Derby is back! The event was cancelled in 2016 due to removal of the fish from the facility, but the fish hatchery staff is eager to get the annual event back on track.

The event is set for Saturday, June 10, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Volunteer Park, one mile west of Paonia on Mathews Lane. The ponds are north of the baseball fields. The complex has a concession stand, restrooms and plenty of parking.

Kids ages 3-12 are invited to participate. Children are asked to bring their own poles and bait; no lures are allowed.

At the most recent fishing derby held in 2015, 146 children ages 3-12 registered for the event. Fifty-four businesses donated door prizes. "Our goal this year is to increase angler numbers," said assistant project leader David Oviedo. "This fishing experience is a great way to instill the love of sport fishing in young children, our future sport enthusiasts and supporters."

Limited booth space will be available for agencies working with natural resources and the outdoors. Donations of all kinds to use as prizes are also needed. Any outdoor items for fishing, camping and hiking would be appreciated. As in past years, every donation received from sponsors will be used to buy prizes or to pay for incidental costs associated with the event. None is kept by the hatchery.

Volunteers are also needed throughout the day to help anglers bait hooks, land an occasional fish and help distribute prizes. Most importantly, volunteers are needed to set up before and tear down after the derby.

For more information, contact David Oviedo at the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery, 872-3170.