16th annual fishing derby held at Kellner's Dam
ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS Pictured from left are Kellner's Dam Association trustee Anthony McGeehan, secretary Amy Bieniek, president Pete Bieniek Jr., trophy winner Kailyn Ever, 9, who caught a 23.5 inch fish, Cody House, 15, who also caught a 23.5 inch fish, vice president Pete Bieniek III and trustee Marygrace House.
Members and volunteers of the Kellner's Dam Association held their 16th annual two-day Kellner's Dam Children's Fishing Derby for children ages 4 to 15 in Tamaqua.
Approximately 200 youngsters registered for the free fishing derby. More than 70 prizes were given out for catching tagged fish. Some of the prizes consisted of fishing poles, tackle boxes, bicycles, nets, and many other sport items.
The dam was stocked with over 550 fish for children 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 updated wooden sponsor appreciation board was also prominently displayed at the derby, which listed all the contributors and sponsors of the event.
Kellner's Dam President Peter Bieniek Jr. stated the association's great appreciation for public support and the over 30 volunteers that help every year to paint, clean, cook and hold the derby.
A number of high sponsors for the derby were Ironton Telephone from Schnecksville, Tamaqua American Legion, Tamaqua Italian Club, Fegley Oil Company, as well as many others.
Kellner's Dam, aka Kellner's Ice Dam, was built 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 big 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 owned by the Tamaqua Borough. The Kellner's Dam Association also 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 www.KellnersDam.com or call the 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 every day from dawn to dusk.