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3rd Annual Youth Fishing Derby

Written by Karlee Holmes, Glade Run Lake Conservancy Director

The Glade Run Lake Conservancy (GRLC) is gearing up for another family fun day at the lake. This year on April 29th, we'll be hosting the 3rd annual Youth Fishing Derby at Glade Run Lake.

What: Glade Run Lake Conservancy 3rd Annual Youth Fishing Derby

When: Saturday, April 29, 2023 from dawn to dusk

Where: Glade Run Lake

How: Sign up by downloading the FishDonkey App on your smartphone

Stocking Up For The Season

Glade Run Lake is stocked multiple times a year by the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission. They stock the lake with trout prior to the youth and adult trout openers each spring. Rainbow and Golden trout have been stocked three times since November of 2022 and will be stocked once more one week before the derby.

Getting Outside Together

The year 2020 really showed a push towards outdoor recreation when COVID caused people to turn to the outdoors during shutdowns. The trend continued to grow and we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to inform new lake goers about the GRLC with the goal of protecting and preserving Glade Run Lake for future generations to also be able to enjoy.

Starting in 2021, the fishing derby was created as a way to incorporate getting families outdoors while also keeping a safe distance by hosting a “virtual” fishing derby using the FishDonkey App. Using a new type of way to conduct a fishing derby allowed for more flexibility, along with safer conditions for the fish caught. Families could choose to stay in one spot in their camp chairs all day or move around to different spots around the lake. In addition to convenience, it’s a great way to catch, report, and release the fish without too many people touching them or having them out of the water too long.

Trout stocking at Glade Run Lake. Photo courtesy of Lisa Busa.

In 2021 and 2022, we had around 30 participants try their luck at a big catch and we have the goal of increasing that number each year. Participants are broken down into two age categories to promote fairness. One group is 7 & under and the other is 8-12 years old. Thanks to a sponsorship from Armstrong, we’ve been able to give out prizes in both age categories for each year we’ve held the derby. Prize categories are largest bluegill, longest stringer of bluegill, and grand slam of one trout, one bass, and one bluegill. The GRLC works with the winners to meet at the lake if they are local or mail their prize if they live out of the area. We’ve had children participate from Butler, Armstrong, Westmoreland, Allegheny, and even Washington counties over the years. It’s been extremely rewarding to see the families create memories that will last a lifetime. We hope that this will make an impact on the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts and environmental conservationists.

In addition to getting families to Glade Run Lake to fish together, the GRLC tries to incorporate local food trucks to offer meal options so that families can spend the day at the lake. We have had Revival Chili, Burritos by Brett, and this year we will have Little Nicky's and B’s Sip of Summer serving up Italian food, hot dogs, burgers, and desserts for lunch and dinner.

Family participating in youth fishing derby at Glade Run Lake. Photo courtesy of Karlee Holmes/Fox Paw Photography.

Details About The FishDonkey App

The app may be downloaded by any Android or iPhone smartphone user in the App or Google store. Catches can be entered manually by the participant and/or the parent assisting. The registration fee is $10/child. The GRLC relies solely on donations, grants, sponsorships, and fundraising events like this to continue to protect and preserve Glade Run Lake. The app is incredibly user-friendly and all that is required by the parent or child on the day of the derby is to take a photo of the child’s catch on the bump board, take a photo of the child holding it, enter the measurement number on the app, and release it. From entering that information, your child’s name will show up on a live leaderboard that you can watch throughout the day even after you leave to see rankings. Parents are encouraged to help their child with all of this as it makes the process go smoothly.

Know Before You Go

This event is always rain or shine. Members of the GRLC board will be present to take photos and sell tickets for our winter kayak package fundraiser valued over $400. The winner will be pulled on the fish derby day, but the person does not need to be present. If you have multiple kids that want to participate, you must use different emails for each child. Be sure to bring a bump board; we will accept tape measures if that is the only way of measuring that you can provide. Remember that this event is for the kids to learn how to fish and have fun doing it!

Youth participating in GRLC fishing derby. Photo courtesy of Karlee Holmes/Fox Paw Photography.

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