On Saturday, April 28, Buncombe County Recreation Services, in partnership with NC Wildlife Resource Commission, will host a Kids Fishing Derby at Owen Park in Swannanoa, 875 Warren Wilson Road, Swannanoa. The fishing tournament is open to all children through age 15. No fishing license is required for children under 16 years of age, but bring an adult to help with baiting hook and removing fish.
Check-in and registration begin at 8 a.m. and the tournament starts promptly at 8:30 a.m. and will conclude at 11:30 a.m. Advance registration for the event is available online for $7 per child at owenkidsfishing.buncomberecreation.org
Registration will also be available on-site the day of the event, $10 per child.
Registration includes snacks, hot dog lunch and prizes for those who place within event categories. Prizes will be awarded for the largest fish, the smallest fish, and the most fish caught.
Fishing poles will be available from the NC Wildlife Commission on a first come, first served basis. Recreation Services will supply a bucket and bait for each competitor’s catch. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing supplies.
This is a “Catch and Release” event. After the fish has been measured, it will be released back into the lake.
Amanda Bushon, a Fisheries Biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, says of the event, “We think that fishing derbies are a great way to introduce children to fishing. We stock the pond so they have a better chance of catching a fish. There will be experienced anglers there to help with casting skills and hopefully taking fish off hooks. We hope that fishing derbies like this one get kids excited about getting outside and fishing.”
Josh O’Conner, Manager of Buncombe County Recreation Services, points out the importance of events like the fishing derby in encouraging lifelong habits in active outdoor recreation, “Events such as our kids fishing derbies help highlight the diversity of Buncombe County’s recreational amenities and encourage children to explore hobbies and activities that will encourage them to get outside and to stay active.”
Event information can be found at buncomberecreation.org