Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby kicks off April 22 at Russell Lake

Published April 13, 2017

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The 29th annual Kids’ Fishing Derby promises to give area youth an opportunity to spend a morning vying for bragging rights April 22 at the Blue Hole Recreation Area at Richard B. Russell Lake.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Richard B. Russell Project office, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition sponsor the event again this year.

Blue Hole Recreation Area is located on Highway 81 in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. Registration runs from 7 to 8 a.m. on the day of the event. Fishing begins at 8 a.m. and runs for three hours. A water safety presentation follows the fishing hours and the event ends with a free lunch of sandwich, chips, drink and dessert provided by the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition for all participants 15 years old and younger. Attendees 16 or older may purchase a lunch for $5 per person, subject to availability.

“Registering before April 22 will greatly help us to prepare in advance for this popular event,” Park Ranger Annette Dotson said. “This will give us a good idea about the number of people to expect.”

Participants may preregister online at Participants may also register by mail or telephone. Include the name and address of each participant 15 and younger, and the total number in the party. Mail to Annette Dotson, Russell Lake, 4144 Russell Dam Dr., Elberton, GA 30635. Fax to 706-213-3440 or call 706‑213‑3400 or 800-944-7207, ext. 3406. Planners also accept email registration to

“Parents and guardians can fish outside the restricted derby net during the event with a Georgia or South Carolina fishing license,” Dotson said. “Youth 15 and younger don’t need a fishing license.” Restrooms and drinking water will be available for everyone but attendees should bring their own chair, fishing gear and sunscreen. As always, the sponsors urge everyone near the water to wear an approved life jacket.

For additional information or to learn how to make a donation, call Dotson at 800-944-7207 or 706-213-3406.

Billy Birdwell, Senior Public Affairs Specialist
912-677-6039 (cell)

Release no. 17-010