The future of fishing was the focus of a daylong tournament Saturday.
The Clark's Hill Striper Club held the tournament at Mistletoe State Park with contests designed for children.
"We hold a lot of tournaments, but his one is special, because we invited everyone to bring their families with them," said Bill Tinley, the park manager at Mistletoe and a member of the club. "The future of fishing is in our children."
After the adults' tournament, the club held child-friendly contests, such as a casting contest, a drag pull, a long-throw contest and a one-hour childrens' fishing tournament.
Also on hand for the tournament were members of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources showing off a specially-designed boat equipped with an electrofisher unit.
The boat is capable of emitting a small shock to drive brood fish off the bottom of the lake. The fish are captured in nets and taken to fisheries where the fish are bred and then released back into the lake.
Winners of the Clarks Hill Striper Club fishing tournament, Miguel Barrales, Sr. (from left) Miguel Barrales, Jr., Carlo Garcia and Ramon Matute hold up their catches Saturday at Mistletoe State Park. Carlo caught the largest fish of the day, a 31.08-pound striper.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
"It's used as a way to monitor the fishing population in the lake and to keep it stocked," Tinley said. "These fisheries are very important to keeping the lake stocked and keeping fisherman coming back."
Suffering from state budget cuts, the DNR is left wanting for many of the items they need to do their jobs effectively. The Striper Club has stepped in help bolster DNR activities.
The Striper Club holds two open fishing tournaments each year and uses the proceeds to purchase items needed by the DNR. Most recently, the club presented the DNR with a check for $7,194 to buy the electrofisher unit.
"This past year, we helped to get the (electrofisher unit)," said Ben Peacock, president of the Striper Club. "We've also helped them buy an outboard motor and a generator for their boat. Next year, I think we've decided to help out the McDuffie County Fishery."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.