In the mood for some family fun?
The annual Kids Fishing Derby, a favorite of locals since the '70s, is this Saturday, beginning at 7 am at the Santa Fe River Park. One thousand rainbow trout are set to be delivered on Friday and then washed downriver towards the participants as the event gets underway.
"The Fishing Derby is a Santa Fe tradition that has delighted generations of young anglers, and their parents," says Parks and Recreation Director Carlos Sanchez. "This summertime tradition takes a lot of teamwork and coordination between the City Water Management and the state Game and Fish to make sure the water flow is timed just right and the fish are where the kids can catch them."
Children 12 and under have exclusive rights to fish until noon, after which time parents, older siblings or others can cast their lines. The kids don't need a fishing license to try their luck, and can bag up to five fish. Poles will be available to borrow—but Lilia Chacon, communications director for the City of Santa Fe, tells SFR that between 400 and 500 participants are expected. The first 200 to arrive will get a T-shirt, a first crack at poles, and the best spots, so get there early.
The event's organizers also built two sand dams so the fish will pool up, giving kids a great chance to hook one, according to Chacon.
Between 40 and 50 volunteers from YouthWorks, Hope Unlimited Church and Trout Unlimited helped out, along with government workers.
"We want this to be fun for the whole family and a whole team of volunteers has worked hard to make it possible," Sanchez says, adding that they do it because they "know this is the kind of event that makes memories for an entire generation and makes Santa Fe so special."
Last year, dry weather caused the event's cancellation, but all the signs look good this time around. The river is flowing, Saturday's forecast is beautiful, and according to the city, the event is still on.
Get your tackle boxes ready kids. It's time to go fishing.