Trout fishing season at Robbers Cave State Park started Nov. 1 and runs through March 15. But the big event of the season is the annual Youth Trout Fishing Derby coming up on March 9, kicking off at 9 a.m. at the Deep Ford Campground.
The event is sponsored by Robbers Cave State Park, Latimer County 4-H and the Friends of Robbers Cave.
The competition is open to kids in three categories: 6 years and younger, 7 through 10 and 11 to 16. No fishing licenses are required.
A rod and reel set will be awarded in each age group for the heaviest stringer (six fish limit) and a tackle box kit for the second-heaviest stringer.
There will be one additional prize for the heaviest single trout.
There is no entrance fee. Last year, the event had more than 70 participants and an even larger turnout is expected this year. Participants need to bring their own rod, reel and tackle and, of course, a stringer to put the trout on. Some bait will be provided, but if you have some sort of magic trout bait you prefer using, bring it along.
A hot dog lunch will be provided for participants after 11 a.m.
The Fourche Maline River will be freshly stocked with beautiful, healthy and delicious trout brought in from a hatchery in Nebraska, so there will be plenty of fish for all.
Daniel Parks works as evening park attendant at Robbers Cave State Park. He is also the volunteer Scout camp coordinator and writes a column about the park.
Biologist to speak
A fisheries biologist from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife will be in Deep Ford Campground the morning of March 9 to give a talk on the fishing scene in southeastern Oklahoma. The presentation is free, and attendees do not need to be participating in the Youth Trout Fishing Derby.