As the season turns from summer to fall, Echo Lake Park will once again be the site of an annual rite of passage for the year with the sixth annual Baxter's Fishing Derby.
The event is open to children ages 5 through 14 who only need to bring a fishing pole and a camera to capture a picture of their catch according to coordinator Steven Fecher. With more than 100 youngsters expected to participate, registration will start at the park at 8:15 on Saturday morning with the first worms hitting the water 45 minutes later.
The closing horn is set to be sounded at 11 a.m. and Fecher said trophies will be given for a variety of accomplishments across the age groups. That includes the smallest fish caught in an age group, biggest fish caught and most fish hauled in. The trophies are being sponsored this year by the Baxter family as well as the Lake Restoration and Wildlife Management Committee.
For those coming out to the event there will be hot dogs available for the young competitors and coffee for the adults who cheer them on. Fecher said the lake is fully stocked for the competition including trout, sun fish and more.
Fecher said one of the attractions of this event is that just about anyone can do it. "A lot of the recreation stuff is active," he said. "This is more of a passive kind of thing." For some of the younger residents who may not compete in sports offered by the recreation program offers this is a chance for them to succeed and have fun among their peers.
Because of work being done on Maxim-Southard Road, Fecher said registration will be held on the pavilion side of the park and on the other side of the lake as well. Parking will be available in the lots at the park as well as on the street.
Fecher said that while there is a chance of rain on Saturday, that does not mean the event will be postponed. "Fishing in the rain is fine," he said. Short of a down pour, the event will go off rain or shine. If it is cancelled, the event will be held on Sunday. Residents are encouraged to check the township's website for any questions about the event.