Hatchery Hooks Kids On Fishing

Anita Campbell
County Reporter
 The 17th Annual Kids Fishing Day was held on Saturday at Lost Valley Hatchery.  Lesly Conaway, Aquaculture Biologist, reported that 422 kids were fishing and 46 kids caught their very first fish.  Approximately 816 people attended the event to watch the children ages 2 through 15 fish.  Conaway reported that over 900 catfish and 250 sun fish were released into the kids fishing pond for the special event.
“The weather was beautiful, maybe a little too windy; however, everyone seemed to be having a great time,” Conaway said. 
According to Conaway, the cool spring didn’t help the kids to catch a fish since the water still has not warmed up.  “Usually by this time of year the fish are moving more but this cool water has made the catfish especially a little sluggish.”
Conaway noted that most of the kids catching the catfish were using liver for bait instead of worms.  Of those who reported their catch, 58 catfish were taken home by kids and 81 sunfish.
“We were able to give out ten prizes every half hour and a wonderful grand prize because of the generous donations of local businesses and individuals,” Conaway said.  The family of the late Mark Morgan had directed family and friends to make donations to the fish hatchery in Morgan’s honor so that enabled the Lost Valley crew to give more prizes than in the past.
  The following merchants and individuals provided prizes for the Kids’ Fishing Day at Lost Valley:  Walmart, Maples Ford, Friends and Family of Mark Morgan, NAPA, Cody’s Bait and Tackle, Timberline, Hook Solutions, Equity Bank, Hawthorn Bank, The Cat’s Meow,  Casey’s, Wendy & Eric Barker, State Farm Insurance, Eichler Furniture and Carpet, Eichler Lumber, Orscheln Farm & Home, Ozark Disposal, West Central Marine, Puddle Jumpers, Sterett Creek Marina, Long Shoal Marina, Osage Bluff Marina, Inc., Golden Valley Medical, Bothwell Health Center, J&D TrueCare Pharmacy, Advantage Real Estate, Sonic, McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Estes Drive-In, The Rusty Skillet, Calgaro’s Pizza, Cosmic Café, The Road House, Trailside General Store, Sis & I, R-n-R Complete Septic, Culligan Water Conditioning, Gazarek Financial Services, Baird’s Sod, Ann & Steve Porter, Dept. of Health & Senior Services, Birdman Apparel, Lost Valley Hatchery Volunteers, MDC volunteers and staff, Thomlinson Family, Malik Rehmer, Braydon Butts, Adrian Russell, Mark Cantrall, Hi Lonesome Chapter Master Naturalists, Lake of the Ozarks Chapter Master Naturalists, Benton County 911, Warsaw-Lincoln Ambulance,  US Army Corps. Of Engineers, State Fair Community College Nursing students.
“We encourage parents to bring their kids back to fish as the weather warms up,” Conaway said. 
 Lost Valley Fish Hatchery is open from 9 to 4 Tuesday through Saturday all year long.  Children can fish for free any day.  Poles and bait are available in the Fish Hatchery office.