Youth trout derby returns after a five-year hiatus

in Enviroment/Sports 237 views

WATERTOWN — After a five-year hiatus, the Watertown Sportsmen’s Club youth trout derby, now called the Stephen Rich Trout Fishing Derby, took place on Sunday on Dry Hill Road with about 70 families ready to take part in the fishing.

Stephen M. Rich, son of Stephen L. Rich, who the derby was named after, said this year’s derby was a little more special to him following his father’s death in January.

“I have such great memories coming here,” he said. “My brothers and sisters are here, they all have great memories of it.”

Sarah K. Conley, president of the Watertown Sportsmen’s Club, attended the wake for Stephen L. Rich, when his son and her began chatting about bringing the derby back.

“It’s like he was right there talking to us,” Mr. Rich said. “Both our dads actually, because her dad was involved.”

Prior to the five-year hiatus, it had been held for 49 years, making this year the 50th edition of the derby.

Every year, a bicycle is given away to the grand prize winner, the youngster who catches the biggest trout.

One of the grand prize winners this year was 3-year-old Annie M. Rogers, who caught an 18.5-inch trout on Sunday.

“This many!” she said, spreading her arms wide when asked how excited she was for her new bike.

Her father, Matt A. Rogers said that his daughter had never fished before and that the 18.5-inch trout was the first fish she had ever caught.

Mr. Rogers was a winner of the derby in 1995 but the fish he caught was not as large as the fish caught by his daughter on Sunday.

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