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Spring fishing derby held at Kellner's Dam

  • ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Jade Genery, 15, of Barnesville, proudly holds up her fish. She won a prize for first limit caught.
    ANDREW LEIBENGUTH/TIMES NEWS Jade Genery, 15, of Barnesville, proudly holds up her fish. She won a prize for first limit caught.
Published April 23. 2013 05:02PM

Kellner's Dam Association Members and volunteers held their 18th annual two-day Kellner's Dam Children's Fishing Derby over the weekend in Tamaqua.

Over 250 youngsters, 50 more than last year, 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 500 fish for children to catch during the two-day derby. Trophies were also given out to both boys and girls for the biggest and first four fish caught.

The largest fish caught was 22 inches, caught by Dominick Nansteel, 9. He is the son of Jeremy Nansteel and Brandy Reinhart of Lansford.

Emily Donne, 11, earned the trophy for the second largest fish, which was 22 inches. She is the daughter of Matt and Amy Donne of Hamburg.

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 Jr. at (570) 778-8117 or go to

Vice President John "Jack" Wassell stated the association's appreciation for public support, as well as the over 25 volunteers that helped prior and during the derby to paint, clean and cook.

An annual supporter of the derby, KMS Bait and Tackle of Barnesville, will mount the first place fish at no charge.

Keerans said that children aged 4 to 15 can still fish at the dam during daylight hours. He added that "Two Can Sam Nice", a 24-inch trout, is still uncaught.

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