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Annual Kids' Fishing Derby Sets Record Attendance
Southwest Region, June 3, 2006
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            As part of the week-long celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery near the tiny town of Reagan, Oklahoma hosted their Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 3rd.  Once again all attendance records were broken when over 600 children registered to fish for channel catfish in two of the larger ponds on the Hatchery grounds.  People in attendance came from all over the state of Oklahoma; those traveling the farthest were from Nebraska, St. Louis, Missouri, and several from the Dallas, Texas area. 

 

          Earl Brewer, President of the Tishomingo Refuge Ecology and Education Society (TREES), the Friends Group for the Hatchery, served as master of ceremonies during the prize give-a-way.  Local Masonic Lodge members and state legislative representatives, Jay Paul Gumm and Paul Roan, gave welcome speeches and announced the prize winners.  In their speeches each promised their continued support of the people of southeastern Oklahoma, the Arbuckle Simpson Aquifer, and the contribution made by the Hatchery and the Refuge to the environment.  Their support and presence demonstrates a united political front for the people and issues in our community.

 

            Jennifer Fowler-Propst from the Albuquerque Regional Office, presented the award for “National Fisheries and Habitat Conservation Project Leader of the Year” to a surprised Kerry Graves, praising the accomplishments he has made throughout his twenty-four year career with threatened and endangered species, sport fish conservation, and aquatic habitat conservation supporting the mission of the US Fish & Wildlife Service. 

 

           CPASA and TREES had an information table with purpose and membership pamphlets available, reminding everyone that TREES is now the Friends of the Refuge and Hatchery with the signing of an agreement at their Board meeting on May 11th bringing the Hatchery under the umbrella of TREES.  Goals and financial records will retain separate accounting, but the membership will be able to support both stations.

 

            Special television news segments were filmed by an Oklahoma City ABC affiliate and a Texas CBS affiliate showcasing the Hatchery, Pennington Creek, and interviews with Project Leader Kerry Graves about the Annual Kids’ Fishing Derby.

 

           

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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