Dear Editor: The Richmond Hill Exchange Club held its 20th Annual Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 5 at the Richmond Hill Fish Hatchery on Hwy. 144 in Richmond Hill.
The derby was open to children ages 15 and under, accompanied by their parents or adult guardian, with awards being presented to children 12 and under. Over the past 20 years, thousands of children and their families have participated. We had a record year this year, with an estimated 425 to 450 children participating, plus an equal number of parents, grandparents, and other adults attending as well, representing our largest attendance ever by far.
This year’s fishing derby took place at four Fish Hatchery ponds that had been stocked with catfish and bream. Most participants brought their own fishing poles and bait, although a large supply of free bait and fishing poles were available too at no charge.
Thanks to the Savannah Coca Cola Bottling Company for the use of their Coke Wagon, as well as a generous supply of Coke products.
The DNR staff cooked and served over 300 hotdogs for the participants and their families, although we did run short on hotdogs. We will plan to cook more next year, so that there will plenty for everyone.
There is never any charge for anyone participating in this event.
Trophies for the largest single fish and most total pounds of fish were awarded immediately following the derby, for two age groups--ages 6 and under, and ages 7 to 12.
US Savings Bonds will be mailed to the children in the two age groups who caught the most total pounds of fish. Special thanks to Bryan Bank & Trust for providing the Saving Bonds every year for the past 20 years.
Several door prizes were provided by The Richmond Hill Exchange Club also.
Special thanks to the many Exchange Club members who were present to help make this event a success, and also to the dozen or more staff members from the local DNR Offices and Fish Hatchery. Members of the Bryan Lodge of Georgia Masons were also on hand to prepare identity kits for the parents of children participating in the tournament.
For more information on the fishing derby, including a list of the winners, and lots of pictures, please visit: http://www.rhxc.org/fishing.htm
Fishing Derby Chairman
and website chairman