Salem Fishing Derby Keeps Timeless Pastime Alive

May 2, 2014

by AJ DickinsonSome timeless American traditions never lose their appeal.  Testament to this is the annual fishing derby at Hedgehog Pond, which attracted more than 200 participants of all ages.  Hosted by the Salem Kiwanis Club and the Salem Recreation Department, the event was sponsored by the Greater Salem NH Rotary Club who not only provided volunteers to register the 200-plus participants but also generously provided a $1,000 donation.  For over 20 years the fishing derby at Hedgehog Pond has provided a platform for young people to enjoy and an opportunity for grandparents and parents to pass on their love of this enduring pastime.

No participant left the contest empty handed, as each was eligible for such perks as the alluring raffle prizes and awards of fishing poles, tackle boxes, trophies, and ribbons.  The event catered to kids of various ages by splitting the event into two sections.  Children eight years of age and under fished first from 9 a.m. to 10:20 a.m. while the 9-15 year olds took over until the 11:30 a.m. award ceremony.  Participants were judged and awarded in several age groups for both largest and smallest fish; however, all competitors received a participation ribbon.

During the excitement of the fishing derby Gary Schmottlach and Tom Wolfel of the Recreation Advisory Committee could be seen answering questions about the new bathroom and pavilion in the park.  The committee members displayed a picture of the potential new building project promoting the support of the idea and accepting donations.

Although it was raining, precipitation did not play a factor for the many youngsters participating in the classic annual event with the same enthusiasm that Salem locals have expressed for decades.