Education and Outreach
Annual Kid’s Fishing Derby
This year (2012) marked the 10th annual KBIC Kid's Fishing Derby held at Sand Point near the Lighthouse Pond in Baraga. Attendance was record breaking with 370 kids participating (up from 353 in 2011). Over 100 people volunteered during the Derby including local sportsman's club members, state and federal agency employees, community members, 4-H, KBIC summer youth programs, and many more.
Activities include the ever popular pond fishing contest, inner tube casting, Velcro fishing, big trout tank fishing, moon walks, and other small games. Food and beverages are free for everyone in attendance. The Lighthouse Pond is stocked with bluegill, rock bass, small mouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, and yellow perch. Prizes are awarded for the most fish, biggest fish, and for catching a tagged fish. No kid leaves the Derby empty handed; each registered fisher kid receives a fishing pole or a trip to the special prize tent if they brought their own fishing pole from home.
History of the Derby
The notion of the KBIC NRD hosting a small kids fishing derby was first discussed in 2002. As the discussion progressed, excitement grew about the possibility of providing an opportunity for local youth to be exposed to the joys of fishing at an early age. KBIC NRD staff contacted local groups that might be interested in helping pull the event together, including KBIC Leadership, Copper Country Chapter of Trout Unlimited (CCTU), the Ottawa and Otter Lake Sportsman's Club, Michigan DNR and various local businesses. KBIC NRD staff was eventually referred to WalMart and the "Hooked on Fishing International" Kids Derby Support Group. The group provided fishing gear and prizes for the event as well as assisted in the planning and organizing of basic games and contests.