COLUMBIA CITY – The second annual Family Trout Fishing Derby in Columbia City will be Saturday, April 18, from 9-11 a.m. at Morsches Park.
The event is free, and no fishing license or trout stamp is required because April 18 is one of four Free Fishing Days offered by the Department of Natural Resources.
DNR staff will be on hand to help anglers younger than age 18. Fishing poles and bait will be available.
Before April 18, the DNR will stock 400 rainbow trout in the pond at the north end of Morsches Park. The trout are about 10 inches long.
No trout fishing will be allowed until Saturday morning.
Prizes will be awarded to youth anglers who catch the largest trout and register their fish on-site. If a tie occurs, a drawing at 11 a.m. will determine the winners.
The event is sponsored by the Columbia City Walmart and hosted by the Columbia City Parks Department.
The pond has open access for shore fishing. A fishing pier is also available. A restroom facility will be open, and ample parking is available.
Thirty-six kids participated in the derby last year. Thirty-five trout were caught and kept, the largest of which was 13 inches. Several additional trout were caught and released.
The limit will be five trout per angler.
“We want families to come out and experience trout fishing,” said Tyler Delauder, DNR assistant fisheries biologist. “It is fun, easy, and you can take your trout home to eat. We will even show you how to clean the fish if you want.”
According to Delauder, the DNR is boosting efforts to get more people fishing. Participation in fishing has leveled off nationwide.
“If we can get families fishing together and having fun, maybe they will want to try it again,” Delauder said.
For more information, call (260) 244-6805.