200 Youth enjoy fishing rodeo

CELINA-Last month a total of 2,000 nine inch rainbow trout and eight large display fish were released here in the creek below the Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery for the 14th Annual Kids’ Fishing Rodeo and over 200 children were on hand to enjoy the day.

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Besides those released for the big event, rainbow trout were also stocked into the adjacent Obey River, giving those people not taking part in the Rodeo the opportunity to share this important resource on Tennessee’s “Free Fishing Day.”

Held in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, the Rodeo was open to kids age 15 and under and was cosponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the citizens of Clay County.

The event presents a unique opportunity for families to spend quality time together and to connect children with nature.

Expert face painter Teresa Nevans was also kept quite busy all morning and The “Friends of Dale Hollow Lake” distributed free hot dogs to patrons.

The master of ceremonies was hatchery employee Willis Smith, who was given relief help by County Mayor Dale Reagan and father/son team Don Boone and County Sheriff Brandon Boone.

Organizers offered special thanks to Clay County Highway Commissioner Ernest Garrison for helping procure rip-rap which was used to build up the plunge pools in order to provide good trout habitat.

The volunteer help resulted in an overall attendance of 225 children and approximately 250 adults, with people coming from as far away as Indiana and Ohio making the trip to Celina to get the chance to catch a rainbow trout.

“We are very grateful for the continued support of this annual event,” hatchery manager Andy Currie said.  “Without this help, the Rodeo would not have been such a tremendous success.

“We would like to thank all of the businesses and individuals who donated prizes, tackle, bait, drinks, advertising, and effort to this year’s Kids’ Fishing Rodeo.”