Ben Poitras, 10, proudly holds up his catch while family and friends look on: l-r Darryn Uelendorf, Kaelynn Lang, Ben Poitras, Bridgett Lang and Elizabeth Poitras. (Photo by Leigh Sharps) (click for larger version)
April 26, 2017PLYMOUTH—Larry Gibson, Plymouth Parks and Recreation Director, hopes that one of these days, the annual Fox Park Fishing Derby will have good weather, but concedes that "We always have strange weather."
Some years, it has rained or snowed, even hailed once, and this year, the 38th, was no exception for inclement weather; it was clear and cold, about 40 degrees. That didn't stop the nearly 200 participants, from the very young and disabled, who kicked off the fishing for the day last Saturday, April 22, however. There were small and large trout waiting for the bait, and many were pulled in by the five and under group. Young Juliet Pratt pulled in a 17 and three quarter incher in her category.
The event, started by Allen and Evelyn MacNeil 34 years ago, has been run by the local Lodge of Elks 2312 for the past five years. Gibson said the event wouldn't be possible without the Lodge and its many volunteers.
"They get a grant to let us get prizes and they pay for the trout, too, besides doing all the registering, measuring and weighing on derby day as well as providing the prizes such as new fishing poles and tackle boxes," he said.
Elks Exalted Ruler Brooks Wilkie noted "It's a great event for kids to get out, go fishing and enjoy the outdoors and the adults have just as much fun."
He and Gibson also thanked the local fire department for providing the hot dogs and hot chocolate and the Fish and Game department who stocked the pond.
Sponsors this year for the tagged trout included Meredith Village Savings Bank, P.L.A.Y., Noyes Insurance Co., Pemi Valley Fish and Game Club, Plymouth Elementary School, Plymouth Firemen's Association, Plymouth Police Department, the Bank of N.H., Evelyn and Allen McNeil, the Abear family and Plymouth Lodge of Elks 2312.
Last year, a plaque affixed to a boulder beside the pond recognizes Allen MacNeil. It reads: 'In memory of Allen K. MacNeil, Founder and Coordinator Plymouth Fishing Derby. Thank you for your 34 years of service and for your love of Plymouth, children and fishin'.' It finishes with the phrase 'gone fishin'.' Allen passed away in 2013.
The prize winners were as follows:
Girls 5 and under Division: Juliet Pratt largest
(2 way tie)
Cami Beisiegel total weight
Kiley Kennell total weight
Pepper Bellamy smallest
Boys 5 and under Division: Wyatt Dow largest
Anthony Molinaro total weight
Ken Stewart smallest
Senior Division Women: Kathy Jaquith largest
Margaret Johnson smallest
Senior Division Men: Dean Sherman largest
Jim Razza total weight
Bob Cass smallest
Girls 6 to 10 Division: Serena Young largest
Gracie Dube total weight
Riley Poitras smallest
Boys 6 to 10 Division: Jeffrey Trent largest
Ben Kelly total weight
Jackson Francis smallest
Girls 11 to 15 Division: Adrianna Elfstrom largest
Hayley Morse total weight
Boys 11 to 15 Division: Aubrey Trent largest
Christian Sorell total weight
Alex Carter smallest
Tagged Trout: Christian Sorell sponsor Evelyn & Allen MacNeil
Kieran Bellamy sponsor Plymouth Police Department