Dover Elks to host Youth Fishing Derby at Silver Lake Friday

Dover Elks Lodge 1903 is looking for youth age 18 and under to participate in the annual Jack Conrad Memorial Youth Fishing Derby on Friday at Silver Lake Park in Dover. (Submitted photo)

DOVER — Andrea Maucher, the exalted ruler of Dover Elks Lodge 1903, said her organization has its’ hooks baited and is ready to lure some young people in to the joys of fishing.

Dover Elks Lodge 1903 is sponsoring the annual Jack Conrad Memorial Youth Fishing Derby for young people 18-years-old and under on Friday at Silver Lake Park in Dover.

The late Mr. Conrad, along with a couple of other Elk members, began the fishing event in 1994 to share his excitement for fishing with kids throughout the Dover area.

“Jack Conrad was a dedicated Elk who had a passion for fishing that he wanted to share with young people,” Ms. Maucher said. “In 1994, with the help of Pat and Terri Conley, the Youth Fishing Derby was born, and it has continued through the years giving kids of all ages the opportunity to get hooked on fishing.”

Registration for this year’s Jack Conrad Youth Fishing Derby is free and will begin Friday at 5:30 p.m. Fishing lines will be dropped along the St. Jones in the Silver Lake Park area at 6 p.m.

Volunteers from the Dover Elks Lodge will be on hand for judging young anglers.

Prize categories include most unusual fish, biggest fish, most caught and many more. There will also be free dog dogs and sodas available for the fisher-kids during the awards ceremony.

Ms. Maucher thanked Smith Bait Shop, Carlisle Marine and the city of Dover for its support of the fun event year after year.

Carolyn Courtney, of the city of Dover’s Parks and Recreation Division, serves as the chair of the fishing event and said it’s always a fun time for families to enjoy the outdoors together.

She said the youth participants can expect to reel in perch, sunny’s/bill gills, catfish and bass around Silver Lake, adding “even a couple of turtles end up on the line.”

“The Fishing Derby offers kids a chance to safely experience fishing, some for the very first time,” Ms. Courtney said.

“Watching families with their little peeps bating, casting, then reeling up fish is a blast to watch. This is something the whole family can enjoy together.

“Fishing is a great hobby and offers families a chance to get outside together and off the TV, video games and electronics. Even if a child doesn’t have gear, we can supply everything they need to be a part of this fun event.”

Ms. Maucher said she enjoys the diversity of participants the fishing event customarily draws.

“The biggest attraction of this event is how it brings people of all ages and backgrounds together for a few hours of family-friendly fun,” she said. “The goal of all Elks’ youth programs – whether it be the Fishing Derby, the Batter Up! Competition (Sunday at Schutte Park), a Bike Rodeo, or our Soccer and Hoop Shoots — is to get kids active, help them learn skills that will last a lifetime and just have fun.

“Dover Elks Lodge is proud to give back to our community and we encourage anyone interested in learning more about what we do, or how to join, to contact the Lodge.”

Delaware State News staff writer Mike Finney can be reached at mfinney@newszap.com.

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