A record crowd turned out for the third annual Family Fishing Day held Saturday at Harmony Lake in Hillsboro’s Liberty Park.
Kyle Clemmons, a city employee who helps organize the event with fellow employees Jason Bernard and Gary Lewis, said they estimated that a little more than 300 kids and 200 adults came out to try to catch more than 800 pounds of trout that had been stocked in the lake earlier in the week.
The derby ran from noon to 4 p.m. for kids and 15 and under only, then the lake was opened to anyone as long as have a valid fishing license if they are 16 or older.
About midway through the event, Clemmons guessed that more than 200 of the approximately 400 trout had been caught. Lots of kids has stringers full of fish as evidence.
“I think it went pretty good. It was definitely the largest crowd we’ve had,” Clemmons said. “We had more food than we ever had before and it was gone in less than two hours and we had more fishing poles to give away than ever and they were gone in less than two hours. We enjoy it. It’s fun to watch kids catch a fish, especially when they get a big one and their face lights up.”
Clemmons said the group gave away 234 brand new fishing poles, plus another six that were damaged, but people said they would take anyway. Bobbers, bait, hooks and sinkers were also given away.
Later this summer, Clemmons said, the same group plans to stock hybrid bluegill in the lake to give people better fishing opportunities year around.
The event has been held on the second weekend in April in its first three years and Clemmons said it will be back again that weekend next year.
“It’s always been the weekend after the trout derby at Rocky Fork and we don’t want to step on their toes,” Clemmons said. “They had their’s first and they usually go on the first weekend in April, so we just follow on the second weekend.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.