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Fishing Rodeo Draws Big Crowds

Photos by Amye Stivender.

Overcast skies and scattered showers did not detour the crowd of children that attended the first annual Kid’s Fishing Rodeo at the Glady Whiddon Park in Forest Hills. “With the uncertain weather, we still managed to have an incredible event” First Sergeant Andrew Godowns from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said, “My staff and I arrived at 8 am to start set up and had people already in line wearing rain gear.” SCDNR and the City of Walterboro hosted the event on, Saturday, May 13 from 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. Due to an early crowd, First Sgt. Gowdowns said “We started fishing early due to the number of people already on site and let it run longer than advertised with people still showing up.” A registration table was set up near the parking area where participants signed up and were handed a giveaway bag which included sunglasses, fish necklace, fish tattoos, stickers, fish ID booklet, fish chart, and tackle. SCDNR was on hand during the entire event to help children bait their hooks and offered assistance with fish removal. “We had a total of 87 kids participate in the event with 76 adults on hand,” according to First Sgt. Godowns. As the event began, several participants set up umbrellas and chairs in anticipation for possible rain but as the event continue the rain held off. Children ranged in age as well as fishing experience but smiles and excitement could be seen on each face that reeled in their catch, regardless of size. SCDNR and the City of Walterboro were able to secure prizes for the participants, “As we concluded the fishing at 1130 a.m. we gave prizes for biggest catfish, biggest bream, smallest fish, and most unusual (turtle),” said First Sgt. Godowns, “we then drew names randomly until all door prizes (rod and reel combo, tackle boxes, cricket cages, fish weight scales, and mesh fish bags) were given away.” The overall grand prize for the event was a free lifetime fishing license giveaway which was won by Nathan Langdale. First Sgt. Godowns is in charge of hosting events similar to this throughout the Lowcountry and was very pleased with the turnout considering the weather and this being the first event SCDNR and the City of Walterboro have hosted together. “A big thank you to Michelle Strickland for all her hard work and help to make this event happen, the City of Walterboro for providing a location, Walmart in Walterboro for donating door prizes, and Low Country Marine in Walterboro for donating bait,” First Sgt. Godowns said, “It was a very successful event and already being looked forward to for next year.”

Amye Stivender (201 Posts)