The Kellner's Dam Association held its15th annual Kellner's Dam Fishing Derby on Pitt Street in Tamaqua on Saturday and Sunday for children ages 4 to 15.

Approximately 250 youngsters registered for the free fishing derby. More than 70 prizes were given out for catching tagged fish. Prizes consisted of fishing poles, tackle boxes, bicycles, nets, and many other sport items.

The dam was stocked with over 800 fish for the kids to catch during the two day derby. Prizes and trophies were also given out to both boys and girls for the biggest and first four fish caught.

The largest fish caught was 23.5 inches.

Food, drinks, and buttons were also sold to help pay for next year's fishing derby. A large new updated wooden sponsor appreciation donation board was also prominently displayed with all the contributors and sponsors of the event.

Kellner's Dam Association Vice President Peter Bieniek III stated that "Big Willly" a 26 inch fish named after Bill Clemens, Kellner's Dam founder, wasn't caught during the derby and is still swimming in the dam for the kids to catch.

Kellner's Dam President Peter Bieniek Jr stated his great appreciation for public support. He also pointed out the high amount of dedication provided by over 30 volunteers that made this derby possible by painting, cleaning, cooking, and helping organize in preparation for the annual derby.

A number of high sponsors for the derby were Ironton Telephone from Schnecksville, Tamaqua American Legion, Tamaqua Italian Club, Fegley Oil Company, and many others.

Kellner's Dam, aka Kellner's Ice Dam, was constructed in the late 1800's by Kellner and Company who operated a slaughterhouse, meat processing plant, and ice house just below the dam. The original purpose of the dam was for harvesting large blocks of ice during the winter months. The ice was stored in the ice house and used in the meat processing business and also sold to the public. Since the 1900's the dam has served as a popular fishing hole and ice skating spot.

The Kellner's Dam is managed by the Kellner's Dam Association and Tamaqua Borough. The Kellner's Dam Association holds fundraising events, such as spaghetti dinners, over the years to make this fishing hole a great place for youth to fish. For more information of Kellner's Dam events or ways to help visit [1] or call the Association President at (570) 668-2546 or Vice President at (570) 668-6362. Even though the fishing derby is over, children aged 4 to 15 can still try to fish for the many remaining uncaught fish at the dam everyday from dawn to dusk.