Gatlinburg opens Free Fishing Week with free Children’s Trout Rodeo

Trout fishBy Marci Claude

The Gatlinburg Recreation Department celebrates the start of Free Fishing Week by hosting its annual Children’s Trout Rodeo on the morning of Saturday, June 6 at Herbert Holt Park.  The 23rd annual tournament is free to all anglers age 16 and under.

The tournament is co-sponsored by the Gatlinburg Sportsman’s Club, Gatlinburg Elks Lodge #1925, Wal-Mart, and Smoky Mountain Angler, who generously donate prizes.  Additional prizes are being donated by Cabela’s, St. Croix, Berkley – Keep America Fishing, and Nantahala Outdoor Center. TWRA will also be on hand to assist with the tournament proceedings.

Prizes will be awarded in several age divisions (6-and-under, 7-9, 10-12 and 13-16) based on total weight of fish caught. Creel limit is five trout per person.  All participants will receive a goody bag.

“The facility will be stocking extra fish for the kids rodeo,” says Marty Nicely of the Gatlinburg Recreation Department.  “We want every child participating to have a positive experience fishing.”

Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday with weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. at the picnic pavilion. Kids can fish anywhere in Gatlinburg.  Fishing in Herbert Holt Park is restricted to youngsters age 12 and under with a limit of two trout allowed from a children-dedicated stream.

Anyone of any age can fish in Tennessee public waters on June 6. Even better, youngsters up to age 15 can fish for free without a license the week of June 7 through 12.  All participants must have a parent or guardian sign the entry form and rules must be followed, including use of single hook lures.

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