SPECIAL TO THE HERALD
brent smith, Park Ranger
On Saturday, June 7th, Myers Hill First Congregational Methodist Church, South Cumberland State Park, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency hosted the annual Grundy Lakes Fishing Rodeo at Grundy Lakes State Park. The rodeo lasted from 6:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
We had a great turnout for the event this year. We had a total number of 337 people register for the event. Of those 337 people, 180 of them were young folks, ages 15 and under.
There were several nice stringers of catfish hauled out of the Beach Parking Lot Lake, which was stocked with 550 lbs of catfish courtesy of the TWRA, this year. Several parents said that their child caught their first ever fish while attending this year’s event. That is something we love to hear about!
We, as people who care about the great outdoors and manage parks and other public lands, hope that these young people grow up to be environmentally aware adults, that they will visit our parks and other public lands throughout their lives, that they will bring their families out to these places so that they develop a love for the environment also, and that all of these folks will become our future advocates and caretakers for our public lands and the environment as a whole!
People in attendance enjoyed free food including hotdogs, chips, desserts, and drinks which were prepared and given out by the wonderful volunteers from Myers Hill First Congregational Methodist Church. Also, young people, ages 15 and under, in attendance won door prizes during a drawing at the conclusion of the fishing rodeo. Prizes included fishing poles, tackle boxes, fillet knifes, fishing lures, dip nets, water guns, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, pocket knives, sidewalk chalk, and some wifffle ball and bat sets! Overall, it looked like everyone had a great day that included fishing, eating, and hanging out with friends and family!
I would like to say a big thank you to Lisa Orange from Myers Hill First Congregational Methodist Church and Brandon Selvog, our local wildlife officer from TWRA, for helping me in organizing the annual fishing rodeo this year. Another big thank you goes out to all of the volunteers from Myers Hill First Congregational Methodist Church who prepared and served the lunch and drinks , fellow park ranger Park Greer who helped work the event, and to my good friend Allen Ott who also worked the event with us. I would also like to thank all of our generous sponsors who donated prizes to be given away to the young people and/or time and money to help support the event. Those sponsors are Camp Mountain Lake, Cumberland Funeral Home, Dari Delite, Family Dollar, Friend’s of South Cumberland State Park, Jim Oliver’s Smoke House, Little Debbie Snacks/McKee Foods, The Lunch Box, Mountain Goat Market, Mountain Outfitters, Myers Hill First Congregational Methodist Church, Pizza Hut, Save-A-Lot, Silver Bait Company, Sonic, TWRA, Waffle House, Wendy’s, and Wilco Hess Travel Plaza. All of you wonderful folks are what made this such a great event again this year!