Kids Trout Rodeo Makes Big Splash in Hay Creek

News photos by Carol Quaintance Dennis Heckrote, 13, and sister Kaylee. She's been fishing since she could hold a rod. This is biggest fish she ever caught and will likely get it mounted.

If you build it they will come and come they did as they have for over sixty years!

The Birdsboro Sportsman’s Club held their annual Kids Trout Rodeo, Friday, May 3rd from 5:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. and Saturday, May 4 from 7:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. at The Rustic Park picnic area along Hay Creek in Birdsboro. Two beautiful warm and breezy days added to the kid’s enjoyment and excitement.

“This is our big annual event for the club. I have been helping for 25 years, it is a fantastic Birdsboro tradition and the kids really look forward to it. We divide them into age groups 6-10 and 11-15 years old. They sign in and have their fish measured and recorded behind their names. The kids that catch the biggest fish win,” said club president, Jeff Sizer.

Sizer also credits Vice President Curtis Eiche with adding the Friday night hours. Over the sixty years sports have changed. The old fishing hole is still a part of Americana, but kids are now into soccer and baseball on a Saturday schedule. Eiche came up with the idea to add Friday night hours and the kids come in droves. Over the course of two days, several hundred kids come out to fish.

Three year old Christian McHough was proudly displaying the fish he caught with the help of his parents Christen and Michael. Angelina Marino and her brother Zachary had come out at 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning and each had caught their five fish limit; big fish, 10 - 25 inches long.

Landon Hevalow, 13, was trying to catch a big Palomino trout that was visible because of its light color in the water. No luck with that guy, but with the help of Casey Kelly’s tips, he reeled in a nice brown trout and a rainbow trout.

Kids were positioned on both banks of the creek. A nostalgic and wholesome feeling filled the air.

The club takes this fish rodeo to heart. They sell raffle tickets year round to cover expenses. The creek is stocked with 1,000 trout, and prizes are given to the winners. It is a community event with local Birdsboro organizations helping to sponsor the trout rodeo including: the Rotary Club, The Lions, The Birdsboro Women’s Club, The Motorcycle Club and J. P. Mascaro and Sons.

The members start preparing the creek the week before the event. “We can always count on the same ones to come out to help,” said John Goss, club member. Brenda Goss, his wife was behind the food area, making the free hot dogs and pouring free soda for the kids.

They had about 20 volunteers to set up 27 rock dams, build a walk bridge across the creek and set up netting so the fish couldn’t all swim downstream. The water was clear and running and you could see the fish swimming. 1,000 trout were stocked…a fishing feast!

Bait was available for sale: worms, minnows, and corn. Older kids were showing the younger ones how to hook the worms and minnows.

“All the work was worth the smiles on the kids’ faces,” said Casey Kelly, a volunteer who helped to show the kids some fishing tips. “I live across the street and have been fishing here for 20 years. I started when I was 10 years old. We live for this event someone did it for us and now we do it for these kids.”

This year the Birdsboro Sportsman’s Club will be celebrating their 80th Anniversary.