Free kids fishing derby set Saturday in Hazel Hurst

Staff Writer

HAZEL HURST — For the 23rd year, the Fishin’ and Kids Club in Hazel Hurst will be holding a free fishing derby for all children ages 12 and under.
The derby will be held Saturday, June 13 at 8 a.m. at the pond at the Community Park in Hazel Hurst. 
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the date change for the kids’ fishing derby, which normally is held in April on the first day of trout season.
Between 230 and 300 children are expected to participate Saturday in the derby.
Parents and other adults are welcome to join the children, but youngsters should hold their own fishing poles.
“It’s for the kids,” John Walker of Hazel Hurst said. “We’re here to teach kids to fish. We want the kids to make every cast.”
Walker is the president of the Fishin’ and Kids Club. His wife, Deb is the secretary-treasurer. Tom Davis of Mt. Jewett is the vice president.
John’s father— Jack Walker of Hazel Hurst—  is called the “caretaker” of the event, which includes a Chinese Auction and other fund-raising activities.
The event also features food prepared by the Cookin’ For Kids Group, which includes Randy Bootes, Bobbie Kneff and their “staff,” John Walker said.
An estimated 3,500 trout will be placed in the pond prior to the derby, John Walker said. The derby is such a popular event that the club has developed its own fish hatchery in Hazel Hurst.
The main parking lot for the derby is located on Route 6 at the base of the Hazel Hurst Hill. It’s a short walk from this large parking lot to the pond and Kane Creek, another location for the young participants.
“Our derby is just a great thing,” John Walker said. “It’s like a little community day.”
Children should bring their own fishing poles and bait for the derby.