PENDLETON — Without an official count of the participants in Saturday’s Pendleton Lions Club Fishing Derby, organizers said it seemed like a record turnout, at least among the younger age group.
“They were lined all around the pond,” Lions Treasurer and event helper Dick Creger said, describing the scene at Falls Park near the landmark lighthouse water feature.
Creger estimates there were 60 fishers in the 5 to 8 age group, with about 15 to 20 in the 9 to 12 group. The groups competed in different one-hour time slots in two categories: Biggest Fish Caught and Most Fish Caught.
The winners in the younger age group were: Biggest Fish Caught — Kasen Kinder, 5, first place (19 inches) and Colt Hodges, 3, second place; and Most Fish Caught — Kash Townsend, 2, first place, and Vivian Townsend, 5, second place.
In the older age group, the winners were: Biggest Fish Caught — Anistynn Warrum, 10, first place (19 inches) and Ely Wetzel, 10, second place; and Most Fish Caught — Jack Dinger, 11, first place, and Greyson Eddington, 10, second place.
Brooks Riley, 8, and Zayn Hammond, 11, won raffle prizes.
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Pendleton Lions Club stocks the pond with 400 pounds of channel catfish the day before the derby each year, Creger said.
“That’s good for the fishing derby for the opportunity to catch fish,” he said, as well as for the community, which can continue to fish the pond long after the derby is over.
The Lions have been running the event since the ’90s, he said, but the event was a restart of a prior event, which previously was run by the Fulk family.