GOLD BEACH – Fifty-five young anglers gathered Saturday to participate in the annual Libby Pond Fishing Derby.
The event was sponsored by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW) and hosted by the Curry Anadromous Fisherman (CAF) at Libby Pond, located eight miles up the north bank of the Rogue River.
This was the 22nd year of the Free Fishing Weekend in Oregon. The ODFW started the program in 1988, to give new anglers the opportunity to try the sport without buying a license and to encourage experienced anglers to teach a youngster to fish,” ODFW representatives said.
The participants were 14 years old and younger, and were divided into three age groups of 5 and younger, 6-9 and 10-14. Prizes and ribbons were awarded for first, second and third places in each group.
The ODFW stocked the pond prior to the derby with 150 “trophy trout” averaging 3 to 4 pounds each. Five trophy fish were caught this year. The largest overall Blue Ribbon trophy fish was 19 inches and was caught by Justin Stagner. He received a Blue Ribbon and a fishing pole from Oregon South Coast Fishermen (OSCF), tackle box from CAF and a chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s.
Derby winners by age group were:
Age 5 and younger: First – Kyle Watling, 3, of Brookings, Prehistoric Gardens family pass, fishing pole from Jot’s Resort, net from Fred Meyer and chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s; second, James Paul Stallard, 5, of Gold Beach, fishing pole from OSCF, backpack and hat from Chase bank, smoothie from Rachel’s Coffee House and a chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s; third – River Harris, 3, of Brookings, backpack and M&M jar from Chetco Federal Credit Union, a gift certificate from Indian Creek cafe, a meal from Langlois Market and a chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s.
Ages 6-9: First – Daniella Marshall, 7, of Gold Beach, radio-controlled car from Radio Shack, burritos from Lex’s Landing; chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s; second – Jeffrey Osman, Savoy Theatre ticket, large pizza from Panther’s Den, burritos from Lex’s Landing and chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s; third – Christian Watling, 7, of Brookings, Game Park Safari passes, Savoy Theatre ticket, meal from Langlois Market and chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s.
Ages 10-14: First – Hanna Hooker, 13, Gold Beach, Jerry’s Rogue Jets ride and hat, salmon book from Gold Beach Book and chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s ; second, Erik Harris, 14, of Gold Beach, Jerry’s Rogue Jets ride and hat, salmon book from Gold Beach Books and chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s; third – Austin Williams, 11, of Gold Beach, fishing pole from CAF, meal from Langlois Market, net from Fred Meyer and a chocolate fish from Sweet Briar’s.
Each participant received a raffle ticket, event button, a Dairy Queen ice cream cone certificate and bait supplied by Humbug Mountain Shriners and Rogue Outdoor Store when they registered.
At noon, the horn blew and the kids brought their fish to be measured. CAF members prepared hot dogs, chips and lemonade donated by McKay’s Market, Ray’s Food Place and Frito Lay. Awards were given out, and then it was raffle time. Approximately 25 items, including 10 rods donated by OSCF were given away.