A day at the pond

Drew Butler
Children participate in the 2019 Kids Fishing Derby.

Ardmore Parks and Recreation is bringing the annual Kid’s Fishing Derby to Regional Park on Saturday, May 16. The event will take place at the Kid’s Fishing Pond located behind The Clubhouse which is currently under construction. Children can compete in three age divisions: 4 to 6 years old, 7 to 10 years old, and 11 to 15 years old. Prizes will be awarded in each division for most fish caught, biggest fish, and smallest fish.

Recreation Director Tes Stewart said safety is a priority at the event, and everyone will be asked to maintain social distancing.

“Before we would allow several people to fish off the dock, but we won’t be able to do that this time,” Stewart said. “So there will probably be two or three people out on the dock, and we’ll have markers set up all the way around the pond for everyone to spread out and fish.”

She said the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife will be coming out to the event and provide fishing poles and bait. However participants are also encouraged to bring along their own poles, hooks, bobbers and bait if they have the supplies at home.

Stewart said the event will begin with a presentation about fishing safety from retired Oklahoma Department of Wildlife employee Mike Williamson.

“He’ll come out and give an introduction to hook safety, how to correctly bait your hook and pull a hook out of a fish correctly,” Stewart said. “He’ll also be going over pole safety and how to look behind you when you’re casting.”

Stewart said the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife will be stocking the pond with bluegill next week, but there are other species of fish already living in the pond as well.

“There’s really a little bit of everything there,” Stewart said. “Last year the kid who caught the most fish got 14 or 15, and there were some really large catfish and bass caught.”

She said the entire Parks Department is looking forward to hosting the event.

“We’re so happy to be bringing back the Kid’s Fishing Derby, and we’re really looking forward to getting back into the swing of things,” Stewart said. “We’ll also have some snacks and other little things available for the kids to enjoy. Hopefully it will be a pretty day, and everyone should have a lot of fun.”

The Kid’s Fishing Derby will be at the Kid’s Fishing Pond at Ardmore Regional Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 16. Entry fees are $5 per child and can be paid online at https://www.ardmorecity.org or in person the day of the event.