The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

March 15, 2010

1,000 trout waiting to be caught by kids

DANVILLE — Even a hungry bear can’t stop the 33rd annual Danville Fish Derby.

It seems the animal broke into a shed where food is kept for trout being raised in the Montour County Sportsmen Working for Kids hatchery.

The bruin “found the fish food mighty tasty, so repairs were made to the shed, and fish food needs to be replaced,” said Jack Lee, president of the organization, which will hold the event May 22.

Donations are being sought to maintain the hatchery, which annually raises 5,000 to 6,000 trout for release in Mahoning Creek, in Danville and near the borough.

One thousand of those trout will be stocked for the derby, which usually attracts hundreds of attendees in a fishing area that covers a quarter-mile of the creek south of Route 11.

The derby — open to children up to age 12 and to handicapped people of all ages — is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. along Mahoning Creek at the Danville Middle School. If there is excessive water or rain, the derby will be postponed to May 29.

Previous donations helped reseal the holding tanks and enclose the hatchery.

“We will be stocking every Friday starting the first day of trout season and not just on derby day,” said Lee, of Danville, who is the third generation of his family to be in charge of the hatchery and derby.

His grandfather, the late Robert E. Lee, hatched the idea, which was followed through by his father, “Butch” Lee, a retired Danville police chief.

About 25 volunteers will help Jack Lee on derby day.

A food stand will be set up with proceeds going to the hatchery, he said.

There will be prizes awarded to kids fishing along the stream as well as awards for items such as taxidermy shop services.

Contributions will benefit the hatchery, where trout are raised for a few years.

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