Members of the Rabbit Run Fish and Game Association held their 45th annual 2-day community free fishing derby recently at the Rabbit Run Reservoir Dam on Rabbit Run Road in Tamaqua. Despite a few periods of drizzle, hundreds of youth and adults participated in the event.

More than 1,300 rainbow trout, 30 of which were 20 inches or large, were stocked prior to the two-day event. In addition to a Lake Charter Trip (won by Kelly, Kenny, Kyle Karlazage of Delano) and a Salmon River Drift Boat Trip (won by Rick Miller of Tamaqua), more than 100 prizes, to include bicycles, were awarded for various categories.

Including 70 fishing poles, five prizes were also drawn every hour and every child received free door prize packets consisting of a Cabela's cap, cap light, Eagle Claw hooks, base worms, water bottle, jars of power bait and other items. Local business members and association members donated the food for the derby.

One of the major contributors was Cabela's Outfitters, which donated many items and prizes for the event. Tamaqua native Harold Engleman, manager of Cabela's in Hamburg, stated, "Cabela's routinely donates items to worthwhile organizations, like the Rabbit Run Assocation. It feels great to give back."

Association President William Weaver pointed out, "Even though it drizzled a little, our derby still gets better every year." A large sponsorship board displaying all the sponsors is near the entrance to the reservoir.

He added, "We have so many dedicated volunteers and sponsors. They all give so much time and effort. Thank you to all our derby association members, volunteers and sponsors for making this a great event every year."

He also pointed out that no one caught "Big Harold," a 24 inch trout stocked in special memory of the late Harold Hosler of Newkirk, who passed away in October. Association members stated that Hosler was an active volunteer with both the association and fishing derby for over 40 years.