History of the Derby
Saturday morning May 17th, 2008 marked our 37th Annual Kid's Derby - open at no cost to children 15 years of age and under. Over 200 children attended.
The derby started off in 1971 at Rogers Park with a fly-fishing derby for boys only. As times changed and participation grew, we eliminated the fly-fishing/boys only policies, and moved on to Tarrywile Park in Danbury. Through the years, as the derby expanded in participants, we moved to the Danbury Town Park.
In the past, we would purchase trout and stock the waters for our derby. But, this was not the success we were hoping for, as the trout were not caught by the children. So, we eliminated the stocking and re-focused our resources on teaching the kids, offering a free cookout and giving trophies to each child. Once we saw the smile on the faces when kids would catch a small bluegill sunfish, we knew we made the right decision!
We try our best to make this event a great family outing. Danbury F&G members feel a great sense of accomplishment when we see the entire beach full of children with fishing poles.
Danbury F&G members are there to teach the children, too. Our members give instructions on knot tying, casting, fish species review for Candlewood Lake, baiting hooks, along with anything else that a child could ask.
Countless children have been attending for many years. The Danbury F&G Kid's Fishing Derby is our version of "No Child Left Inside"
. We are advocates for the conservation and preservation of our environment. We always teach the children the importance of the outdoors and, wherever possible, to "catch & release" their fish.
Event Day - What We Do and How We Do It
As safety is always on our mind, we have a police officer who volunteers his time at the crosswalk in front of the Danbury Town Park. Every child with their family can cross the street safely to enter our derby. Our members patrol the beach to ensure safety among these small anglers. We also have a first aid station which fortunately has never been utilized.
When the child enters the park, we have a welcome table. We hand out brouchures and booklets to each family, along with Danbury F&G buttons. We also provide fishing tackle, bait and loaner poles - all for free!
In addition to the assistance from our membership, the contributions we receive from the Danbury area community are incredible. We receive food, beverages and cash donations to help support this worthy event. With the help of the Danbury community, the Danbury Fish & Game Association's Kid's Fishing Derby is one of the most successful events of its kind in the State of Connecticut!
Thank you to all of the businesses and individuals that contributed to our 2008 Kid's Derby Sponsors booklet. To download, please click under "Attachments" below
Danbury Fish & Game Association members at the conclusion of the 2008 Kid's Fishing Derby.