In 1996, Park Ranger Ben Johnson hosted the first Kids Fishing Derby at Echo Canyon State Park. That year he had 12 eager anglers attend the event. June 9 marked the twenty-third consecutive Kids Fishing Derby and there were over 200 enthusiastic youth attending this time around.
The event is always held on Nevada?s statewide free fishing day and is consistently great fun for kids and adults. This year there were twenty tagged trout, two of which were tagged with $5,000 and $10,000 scholarships. Hayden Canning, from Alamo, caught a tagged fish that rewarded her with the $5,000 prepaid scholarship, the top prize of the day.
Aside from the tagged fish, the event also always hosts a plethora of raffle prizes from kayaks, bicycles, float tubes, and small fishing boats to camping gear, tackle boxes, toys, and even tickets for Las Vegas shows and performances. Lunch is always provided, and fun games and activities ensure everyone, even non-anglers, have a great time.
Everyone persevered through the high winds and many fish were caught, with the largest weighing a whopping 771 grams.
The winners of the Kids? Fishing Derby in each age group were as follows:
0-5 Years Old:
- 1st – Tytan Jolly
- 2nd – John Mulligan
- 3rd – Teagan Monahan
6-12 Years Old:
- 1st – Hunter Bzerian (771 grams)
- 2nd – Jace Bean
- 3rd – Hayden Canning
13-18 Years Old:
- 1st – McKay Dudman
- 2nd – Borden Coleman
- 3rd – Zachary Lamasker
Johnson thanked parents for getting kids to the event and also thanked all volunteers and staff as well as comedian Brad Garrett, Christie Trent, PENTA, Rafael Framers, Justin and Micky Vanhulle, and IBEW.
Johnson was pleased to see how many kids were at the park, and every kid left with a brand-new rod and reel just for participating.