Willow Creek All Set For 26th Annual Kids Fishing Derby June 6-7

Posted By on June 4, 2015

by Joey Crandall, joey@carsonvalleytimes.com

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — It can’t go without mention that it rained Thursday afternoon. Or that rain is potentially in the forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well.

It wasn’t that many weeks ago where organizers of this year’s Kids Fishing Derby were scrambling to make arrangements for this year’s derby due to the drought conditions in the Valley. They were looking closely at the fishing pond at Mitch Park in the Gardnerville Ranchos.

Instead, the Kids Fishing Derby will enjoy its 26th edition Saturday and Sunday at Lampe Park’s Willow Creek, as always.

“The watermaster (Charlie Condron) and the ranchers and farmers in the area graciously made a way to keep it here,” said donations coordinator Steve Hamilton. “We’ve managed to exceed all of our donation goals. We had 185 sponsors this year and we’ll have 120 raffle prizes.”

Volunteers stocked Willow Creek with 4,000 fish Thursday morning and afternoon, including some bigger fish from Oregon and a large batch from Mason Valley Fish Hatchery. Surrounding willow trees were pruned back, the creek was filled to the brim and fencing, shade shelters, rod racks and signs all put in their proper places.

Sisters Heather Gertsch and Tiffany Ellis handled the publicity for this year’s event, noting that walk-up registration will be taken at Lampe Park through Friday, though no one is generally turned away the day of.

They grew up attending the Derby and later began volunteering in it.

“Our dad (Bob Ellis) has been helping with this since the beginning,” Tiffany Ellis said. “Our grandparents helped until they passed away, and we’re helping with it now. I think he’s proud to see us starting to step in to help carry it on. It’s affected a lot of lives over the years.”

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