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Albermarle to sponsor Fish Rodeo April 12 at Reservoir Park

Hey kids! Time to get that fishing pole out of closet.
On April 12, the annual Fish Rodeo at Reservoir Park is scheduled and organizers are once again looking for record turnouts.
“It’s always packed,” said Harry Raling, an organizer of the event. “Last year, there were about 250 people there and there’s no reason to believe this year will be any different.”
This is the third year Albermarle Corp. is involved with the project. It will be joined by the Bald Eagle Sportsmen as co-sponsor of the event.
“This was done as far back as I can remember,” said Raling. “There were some different organizations that took if over for a few years at a time, then it just sort of fell by the wayside through one thing or another.”
Raling said he had enjoyed waking up on the first day of trout season and heading to Reservoir Park to help the kids at the derby. But four years ago, when he went up, no one was there.
“I really enjoyed doing that,” said Raling, “but when there wasn’t anyone around, I was a little disappointed.”
Raling said he talked with Randy Andrews, Albermarle’s president, and Tyrone Mayor Patricia Stoner about Albermarle sponsoring the event. Both were in agreement.
The derby is scheduled from 8-11:30 a.m. Kids up to an including age 15 are able to participate.
“If you need a fishing license, you can’t fish in it,” said Raling. “That’s a rule at the park. The parents are allowed to help them, but we encourage the kids to do the catching.”
Officials from the state Fish and Boat Commission will be present.
According to Raling, the sponsors of the event encourage “catch and release.”
“This is a little different format than most fishing derbies,” said Raling. “There are no age groups or groups for largest fish. If a kid catches a fish, we give them a ticket. These tickets are then placed in a bowl and after the derby is over, we’ll randomly pull out tickets and award prizes in that way.”
Raling said 50 trophies have been ordered for the event and hopes are that businesses around the community will donate other prizes that organizers can give away.
“A lot of kids will get trophies and everyone will get a ticket for a door prize,” said Raling. “So the kids who may not catch a fish can still win something.”
Raling said between 1,000 and 1,200 fish will be released into Reservoir Park before the event. The fish will be supplied by the Bald Eagle Sportsmen.
“They’re going to put some monsters in,” said Raling. “We had a little kid that caught a fish that weighed almost six pounds last year. That’s a citation fish for an adult, let alone for a little kid.”
The largest trout caught, according to Raling, will be mounted by Don Petro.
In addition to the fishing, refreshments will be available. Raling said Kunzler will donate hotdogs and Gardner Candies will donate candy bars. Also, Joe Faretta from Frito Lay will donate potato chips.
“We have a lot of other people interested in the event,” said Raling. “We’re hoping the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs will pitch in and take some of the things away from us, like a hot chocolate stand or something of that sort.
“It’s going to be a good time for all,” said Raling.