Watch small children catch trout weighing up to 7-pounds |

Watch small children catch trout weighing up to 7-pounds

Don Quilici

Here is your annual Don Q reminder of a very special, outdoor event sneaking up around the corner.

And, in my less-than-humble opinion, this huge event is one of the many heart-warming reasons why this general area is such a special place to live.

What is it?

Heck, the answer is easy: It’s the annual Kids’ Fishing Derby.

Through many years, that derby is something that has been enjoyed by many tens of thousands of people. And I guarantee that if you attend, you, too, can add your name to the list of countless folks who have had a “Ton of Fun” there.

Where is it?

The derby is always held at Lampe Creek in Gardnerville’s Lampe Park.

When is it?

It’s always held on the first weekend in June. So, this year, be sure to mark your calendar for Saturday and Sunday, June 2-3 for a truly memorable experience.


If you’ve never been there, Lampe Park is reached by taking U.S. 395 south from Carson City to Gardnerville to the traffic light at the intersection of U.S. 395 and Waterloo Lane. At that light, turn to the right, travel several hundred yards and you’ll be at Lampe Park.

That Douglas County park is the site of the Kids’ Fishing Derby, which provides thousands of youngsters of this area with a golden opportunity to be introduced to an outdoor sport they will be able to enjoy for the rest of their lives.

Each year, about 2,400 youngsters (ages 3-12) sign up to fish in six different time periods.

On both Saturday and Sunday, there will be three different fishing sessions: 8-9:30 a.m., 10 -11:30 a.m. and 12:30 a.m.-2 p.m.

Each of those sessions will have about 400 youngsters, each trying to catch his/her limit of two trout.

In addition, on Saturday afternoon, there will be an extra session at 2:30 p.m., restricted to youngsters who require special needs.

If you’re the parent of a pre-schooler in the derby, there is a special area where one of the parents is allowed to “assist” their youngster while fishing.

You can assist by baiting their hook, casting the line out, untangling a snarl, unsnagging a snag, etc. However, you can not bring in the fish for your youngster. Don’t be tempted. It’s a kids’ fishing derby, it’s not an adult derby. Let the youngster catch the fish.

The fish:

There will be a total of 6,000 trout provided by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS), the Nevada Division of Wildlife Mason Valley Hatchery and by a private hatchery at Susanville, Calif.

The USF&WS will plant 750 trout weighing 4-5 pounds each. Wow!

The Susanville hatchery will plant 40 trout weighing 7 pounds each! Double Wow!

And, as usual, there will be 300 tagged trout, marked with a special tag on the Dorsal Fin. When a youngster catches one of those tagged rainbows, they will be able to pick and choose from a number of nice items at the prize table.

Sign ups:

So, if you have youngsters, or if you are related to or know other youngsters (who are in that age group of 3-12), be sure they sign up as soon as possible. Do it today!

Registration forms are available at the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department at 1327 Waterloo Lane in Gardnerville during regular business hours.


The Kids’ Fishing Derby is billed as largest, free, children’s fishing derbies in the Western United States. And, it has more than lived up to that impressive billing through the many past years.

If you’ve never attended any of the derbies, be sure to attend this one. It will be definitely worth the time and effort and provide you with a wealth of memories.

Don’t forget to take your camera to capture some priceless photographs of happy youngsters.

The Kids’ Fishing Derby is jointly sponsored by The Kids’ Fishing Derby, Inc., the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Department, the Nevada Division of Wildlife and the Lahontan National Fish Hatchery, plus the major sponsorship of Raley’s of Gardnerville.


Many volunteers are still needed to help with checking in anglers, providing poles and reels, baiting hooks, helping to cast, netting fish, untangling snarls and snags, cleaning fish, manning the prize table, cooking hamburgers, etc.

You can sign up to help on either Saturday, Sunday or on both days.


Call the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Dept. at 782-9828 or Chairperson Pam Rodrigues at home at 265-1795.

• Bet Your Favorite Pigeon

Bet your favorite pigeon he can’t tell you what happens to the trout not caught during the derby.

If he grins and says, “The remaining fish can only be caught by youngsters up to the age of 16 or by individuals with a “disabled person” fishing license,” he could be a game warden.

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.