After a one-year hiatus, the Exchange Club youth fishing derby has been set for Sept. 22 at the DNR facility on Ford Avenue.
The annual event, usually held the first Saturday in June since 1991, had to be called off last year due to ongoing construction at the DNR site. More than 5,000 youths have participated over the years.
“I have talked to Chris Harper at the Fish Hatchery, and he is confident that work will be completed later this summer,” said Exchange Club member Lynn Bennett. “Because of our long history with this event, a lot of people in our community have this on their calendars, and are looking forward to the derby again this year.”
The event will run from 8 a.m. to noon. Prizes are awarded in various age groups up to 15 for total weight and heaviest fish caught. Door prizes are also handed out and lunch is provided.
Construction at the DNR site include a new hatchery and administrative offices.
The Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery, operated by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, is an 87-acre facility that includes 38 fish production and rearing ponds and three fishing event ponds. The land was donated to the state of Georgia by Henry Ford and construction began in 1933 performed by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
The hatchery currently raises eight different types of fish, including striped bass and hybrid striped bass. More than 600 million fry have been hatched there. Bluegill, sunfish, largemouth bass and catfish are also raised at the hatchery for stocking privately owned ponds.