31st annual Kids’ Fishing Derby comes to Russell Lake May 4

USACE, Savannah District
Published April 8, 2019

SAVANNAH, Ga. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Richard B. Russell Project Office, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition, will host the 31st Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby, Saturday, May 4.

The family-centered, fun-and-fishing day will take place at the Blue Hole Recreation Area located on Hwy. 81 in Calhoun Falls, South Carolina. Registration opens from 7-8 a.m., with fishing hours from 8-11 a.m., followed by a water safety program and concluding with prizes and lunch. The Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition will provide a free lunch for each participant age 15 and younger. Attendees 16 or older can purchase a lunch for $5 per person (subject to availability).

Only registered youth 15 years old and younger will fish in a specially netted cove. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will stock the cove with fish before the derby.

Special guest, professional angler Ray Pettit, will award a grand prize of a free fishing trip to one lucky angler and guardian, according to Park Ranger Annette Dotson from Russell Lake.

Participants can register for the event online at www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/rodeos. They can also pre-register by mailing or calling in the name and address of each participant (15 and younger) and total number in the party. Officials urge early registration for this perennially popular event to guarantee a lunch for everyone seeking one. Mail registration to Ranger Annette Dotson, Richard B. Russell Lake, 4144 Russell Dam Drive, Elberton, GA 30635. Fax to: 706-213-3440. Call: 706-213-3400 or 800-944-7207 ext. 3406. Email: Annette.r.dotson@usace.army.mil.

“Parents and guardians are reminded that you can fish outside the net during the Kid’s Fishing Derby with a Georgia or South Carolina fishing license,” Dotson said. “Youth 15 and younger do not need a fishing license.”

Restrooms and drinking water will be available for everyone but attendees should bring their own chair, fishing gear, and sunscreen. “We strongly recommend anyone, especially children, who will be in, on or near the water to wear a life jacket,” she said.

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


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

Release no. 19-010