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Kids fishing derby registration starts

Sharon Melbo, top left, Kim Petrie, top right, Amber Petrie and Landon Gabriel are four generations of anglers who annually organize the kids fishing derby held at the Red Bridge. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

Registration begins today for the 10th annual Park Rapids Youth Fishing Derby that will occur July 31.

Organizers Sharon Melbo, daughter Kim Petrie and granddaughter Amber Petrie say they're grateful the contest has endured 10 years, especially in tough economic times.

"We're ready; we're excited," Kim said.

There is no registration fee as usual. The family gets everything donated so kids take home a rod and reel, T-shirt, bait and prizes. They get a free lunch during the tournament, which runs from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Local donations help pay the cost of the event, and the women expressed gratitude the community has stepped up.

There's a grand prizewinner based on the weight of the fish hauled in during the tournament. Then there's first, second and third prizes in each of the two age categories, 5-8-year-olds and 9-12-year-olds.

Kids get door prizes even if they don't win or place in their division.

The event is held by the Red Bridge on the Fish Hook River. Last year the industrious anglers caught 400 fish, three turtles and two ducks off the shore.

Only 75 spots are available due to limited shoreline. No registrations are taken by phone.

Sarah Smith

Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers courts, business and breaking news in addition to outdoors events.

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