By Tracy Robillard
GERORGIA — Mark your calendars and grab a fishing rod! The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition will host the 24th Annual Kid's Fishing Derby on Saturday, May 12 at Richard B. Russell Lake in Calhoun Falls, S.C.
The event will take place at the Calhoun Falls Bank Fishing Area, located on Highway 72 between the Highway 72 Bridge and Calhoun Falls, S.C. Registration is from 8 to 8:30 a.m. Fishing hours are from 8 to 11:00 a.m., followed by a 45-minute water safety program. The event concludes with a hot dog lunch and prizes beginning at noon. A free lunch will be provided for all participants ages 15 and under. Children 15 and under are not required to have a fishing license.
Lunch will be available to anyone 16 and older at a cost of $3.00 per person. Lunch is being provided this year by the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition, a non-profit group that has formed under the Calhoun Falls Chamber of Commerce.
Other supporting organizations include the Southeastern Paralyzed Veterans of America, The Outdoor Dream Foundation (with community star James Robert Kenney also known as "Radio"), and Faith Hunters for Youth. The event is part of nationwide initiatives such as America's Great Outdoors, Let's Move Outside and National Kids to Parks Day, a new grassroots movement created by the National Park Trust.
While pre-registration is not mandatory, the Corps of Engineers encourages participants to pre-register for the fishing derby to ensure sufficient planning and supplies. To pre-register, please provide the following information via e-mail, phone or mail:
- Number of fishing derby participants (15 and under)
- Total number in your party
- Your city and state of residence
Phone: 706-213-3400 or 1-800-944-7207 ext. 3407
Mailing Address: Attn: Erin Parnell, Richard B. Russell Lake, 4144 Russell Dam Drive, Elberton, GA 30635.
Parents and guardians can fish outside the designated net area during the Kid's Fishing Derby, as long as they have a valid Georgia or South Carolina fishing license. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs, fishing gear, sunscreen, bug spray, and a life jacket.
The Calhoun Falls Chamber of Commerce is accepting donations for the fishing derby in the form of funds, prizes or food items. The Chamber can be reached at 864-418-8672.
For additional information, please call Park Ranger Erin Parnell toll free at 1-800-944-7207 or 706-213-3407.