The second annual "Ding" Darling Kids Fishing Derby will be on Sanibel Causeway Islands Park (Island A) on Saturday, Nov. 9.
J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge and the "Ding" Darling Wildlife Society-Friends of the Refuge (DDWS) co-sponsor the event.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. on the causeway, and ages 15 and younger start fishing at 9 a.m. and finish at 11 a.m. Awards ceremony is at 11:30.
Kids, get ready to reel in the big ones at the refuge’s free fishing derby. PHOTO PROVIDED.
Judges will record catches during the session. After the results are tallied, they will award winners in two age groups: 10 to 15, and 9 and younger. Based upon total inches of fish caught, the refuge will award first, second, and third place prizes, plus awards for the largest and smallest fish hooked, in both age categories.
Participants should bring fishing poles, but Tarpon Bay Explorers will provide a limited number of loaner poles for those who don't have their own equipment. Shallow Bait and Dale Shirley will be supplying the bait.
Throughout the day, volunteers and staff will teach fishing skills and safe, ethical fishing practices and will engage children in fish crafts.
"We had an exciting event in our inaugural year," said Ranger Becky Wolff, the refuge's education specialist. "Thanks to everyone who contributes to this effort."
The event is made possible also by support from the Lexington Fishing Club, Sanibel Island Fishing Club, and Lee County Parks & Recreation. For more information or to volunteer for Kids Fishing Derby, contact Wolff at Rebecca_Wolff@fws.gov or 472-1100 ext. 236.
As a non-profit organization, DDWS works to support J.N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge's mission of conservation, wildlife and habitat protection, research, and public education through charitable donations and Refuge Nature Shop proceeds.