It looks more like winter than fishing season at Parker Dam State Park. However, the cold weather didn’t stop the fishermen from casting their lines.
This weekend 43rd is the annual kids fishing derby, but the snow is no stranger to the competition. Organizer, Patrick Domico says that’s how the derby began. “It was an ice fishing derby. But then we ran out of ice so we had to switch it!”
Domico has helped coordinate the fishing derby through his non-profit, ‘Squirrel Tails for Trout’ which was founded back in 2005. The non-profit uses harvested squirrel tails to enhance fishing programs throughout the state. The non-profit’s goal is to promote fishing for the youth. “We receive no grant money at all. It’s all done by the people. We’re very happy. In one years time I can raise 12 thousand to put those fish back in the river,” says Domico.
The money the non-profit receives then goes back into fund stocking streams and rivers. He says it’s important kids learn to enjoy the outdoors. Domico says that’s all he did growing up, “way back when we were kids that’s all we knew how to do was to hunt and fish”
After all these years Domico doesn’t plan on stopping just yet. “My hope is that I can go seven more years and say this is the 50 anniversary and have all these kids who want to come back,” adds the organizer.
Prizes will be handed out to the first group of kids who reel in a catch. The winner who brings in the biggest fish will win a signed plaque.
The derby will be from 9 am through 11:30 p.m. on Sunday at Parker Dam. No registration is needed. It is completely free for kids from three through 13.