Roughly two-dozen children and their parents took to Waterloo Park in Denison Saturday morning to catch trout in the 20th Annual Youth Trout Fishing Derby, despite weather concerns.
The event was nearly called off due to the expected weather, Denison Parks and Recreation Department Recreation Manager Andrew Manes said.
The department contemplated canceling the event over concerns the rain and wind might keep people from being able to participate, Manes said. He said the department ultimately decide not to cancel because it had to do so last year over the pond being frozen and didn’t want to cancel the event two years in a row.
“People really enjoy coming out to experience the great outdoors,” Manes said. “It’s a good opportunity to catch a lot of fish. It is also an opportunity to compete, win some trophies and maybe win a door prize.”
He said the department put 1,700 trout into the pond a couple of days before the event to ensure there would be plenty of fish to go around. Manes said seeing children’s faces light up when they caught a fish was a thrill to see.
“It gives parents the ability to come out and work with their kids,” Manes said. “They are competing but they also get to come out and have a good time. Fishing with a small body of water increases their chances of catching something. That is what we want especially for the young kids. We want them to catch fish because that is what they are going to take away from it.”
The youth derby is one of three trout fishing events the city hosts. It is conducted in a similar way to the others, limiting each participant to a total of five fish. Food and prizes are also available for those 16 and under who participated.
Mike Otten said his 10-year-old daughter, Abby, seemed to enjoy the experience, as did her grandfather.
“She enjoys the thrill of reeling them in,” Otten said. “We brought her out because it was for kids. It meant she actually stood a chance. My favorite part is spending time with the family away from the electronics.”
Otten said it was the first time he brought his daughter to the Denison event. He said his family normally goes fishing at Lake Texoma, but Saturday’s weather proved for fishing as it was a little windy but was nice and warm.