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17th annual Kellner's Dam Fishing Derby held in Tamaqua

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Dylan Nelson, 11, reels in a catch during the Kellner's Dam Fishing Derby.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Dylan Nelson, 11, reels in a catch during the Kellner's Dam Fishing Derby.
Published May 19. 2012 09:01AM

Members and volunteers of the Kellner's Dam Association held their 17th annual two-day Kellner's Dam Children's Fishing Derby recently in Tamaqua.

Approximately 200 youngsters registered for the free fishing derby. Some of the over 60 prizes consisted of fishing poles, tackle boxes, bicycles, nets and many other sport items.

The dam was stocked with over 600 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 20 inches, caught by Kassandra Kranch, 11.

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, 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 and members of the Keystone Fish and Hunt Club routinely hold various fundraisers throughout the year to raise funds for the derby and park.

For more information or ways to help the Kellner's Dam and it's park, call current President Tom Keerans Junior at (570) 778-8117.

Kellner's Dam past president Peter Bieniek Jr. stated the association's appreciation for public support, as well as the over 30 volunteers that help every year to paint, clean, cook and hold the derby.

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 dusk to dawn.

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