Fishing derby in Heidelberg aimed at getting children out of the house

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For the second year in a row, Heidelberg hopes to reel in kids and their parents to a catch-and-release fishing derby on Saturday along the banks of Chartiers Creek.

The event, which was the brainstorm of the borough's police Chief Vernon Barkley, an avid fisherman, is aimed at bringing families together and getting kids off the couch.

"We need to get our kids out of the house and away from the Xbox and video games," the chief said.

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent at all times. Anyone required by state law to have a fishing license must have it displayed while fishing, too.

Registration will be from 8 to 10 a.m. Cost is $3 for children and $5 for adults. Individuals must be registered to be eligible for prizes.

All fishing must be done from the creek banks within Heidelberg. This means the derby boundaries are the creek banks from the end of Grant Street by the railroad bridge to the Marathon Gas Station under the bridge at Greentree Road. No boats are permitted.

All fish must be alive when weighed in and when returned to the creek. Contestants must have their wristbands, which display their registration numbers, at the time of weigh-in. All fish must be weighed in by 2 p.m. at the park pavilion.

Prizes will be awarded to one adult and one youth under the age of 18 for the largest fish by size and weight in the following categories: sucker, sheep head or carp; small- or large-mouth bass; crappie bass; perch; sunfish and blue gill; and catfish.

Besides the fishing derby, the event will include live music, games, food and fun. Last year's inaugural event drew more than 80 kids and their parents from numerous communities.

Getting kids together with their parents for a day of fun activities is one of Chief Barkley's goals.

"Family time is rare these days, but getting children involved in sports of all types is always a plus," he said.


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Carole Gilbert Brown, freelance writer:


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