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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Senior, handicapped fishing derby set for Friday

  • The Neosho National Fish Hatchery just wrapped up their annual Kids Fishing Derby and are preparing for round two on Friday, when the hatchery will host their annual Senior and Handicapped Fishing Derby.
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  • The Neosho National Fish Hatchery just wrapped up their annual Kids Fishing Derby and are preparing for round two on Friday, when the hatchery will host their annual Senior and Handicapped Fishing Derby.
    The event is open to seniors ages 65 and older and the physically challenged of all ages.
    "They're able to come in and we provide everything," said hatchery manager Dave Hendrix.
    He said the event kicks off at 9 a.m. at the hatchery, and runs until noon. Then, at noon, the hatchery will provide a picnic lunch, running until around 1 p.m.
    Participants are asked not to bring their personal fishing gear to the derby, as all necessary gear will be provided by the Friends of the Neosho National Fish Hatchery.
    No registration is required for the event, and Hendrix said there is no limit to how many people can participate.
    "We're planning for at least 300 people and it could be a lot more than that," Hendrix said. "More and more people are hearing about it, we're doing a better job of getting the message out. We're trying to give everyone a chance to come out and enjoy."
    The fishermen will be allowed to catch four rainbow trout each and will be able to take the fish home cleaned and ready to cook.
    Hendrix said volunteers will be on hand offering a fish cleaning station to prepare the anglers' catches to be taken home.
    “What we’re trying to do is, a lot of our seniors and especially our elderly that are in nursing homes, they used to be active in fishing,” Hendrix said. “We give them a chance to reminisce about how it used to be.”
    He said several nursing homes take part in the annual event every year.
    He said the event also offers the physically disabled a chance to have a nice day outdoors.
    “Of course our physically challenged don’t get a lot of chances to do a lot of fishing or other activities that maybe they would be if they were physically able to do it,” Hendrix said. “We give them a chance to come out here and just have a wonderful day.”
    Last year, the event drew approximately 200 seniors and handicapped fishermen, and Hendrix said the hatchery is expecting even more this year.
    The fishing derby, which Hendrix said has been running for at least 20 years now, will include one new addition this year, Hendrix said, as the first 100 participants will receive free T-shirts.
    For more information on Friday’s fishing derby, contact the hatchery at 451-0554.

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