SAVANNAH, Ga. – This year the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will celebrate 25 years of providing fishing opportunities to children with the annual Kid's Fishing Derby at Richard B. Russell Lake May 11.
The 25th annual derby will take place at the Calhoun Falls Bank Fishing Area, located on Highway 72 about one mile west of Calhoun Falls, S.C. The derby starts at 8 a.m. and will last until about 1 p.m. Gates will open around 7 a.m.
The event is free of charge and open to children 15 years and under (no fishing license required for children). Children will fish for catfish inside a heavily-stocked fishing area for a 30-minute time slot. After fishing, officials will provide an enthusiastic and fun water safety presentation, said Julian George, Corps park ranger. The event concludes with a hotdog lunch (free for children 15 and younger) and prize drawings. Attendees ag! e 16 and older may purchase a hotdog lunch for $2 (subject to availability). Anyone age 16 and older may fish outside of the designated kid’s area with a valid South Carolina or Georgia fishing license.
Attendees should bring their own fishing gear, bait, life jacket, sunscreen, bug spray, and other items they may require for the event. The Corps of Engineers highly recommends the use of life jacket for anyone who will be near the water, especially for children and weak swimmers. No alcoholic beverages are permitted.
The derby will occur rain-or-shine, but it may be delayed or cancelled in the event of severe weather.
Participants are encouraged to pre-register online at www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/rodeos. This website also includes Additional information about fishing events in South Carolina. Pre-registration is also available by calling the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Richard B. Russell Project, toll-free at (800) 944-7207; or by calling the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Aquatic Education office at (803) 737-8483.
The Corps partnered with several organizations and with many volunteers from the community to host this event, including the South Carolina and Georgia Departments of Natural Resources, and the Lake Russell Recreation and Tourism Coalition—a committee formed by the Calhoun Falls Chamber of Commerce.
"The annual Kid’s Fishing Derby and water safety program has been going on for 25-years now and is a fun, family-friendly event for children and youth in our community," George said. "There will be plenty of volunteers on hand to show children how to fish and to help out."
For further information about the event or to volunteer, please call the Richard B. Russell Project Office at (800) 944-7207 or (706) 213-3406.