By Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce
The Kids’ Fishing Rodeo held on Saturday, April 20, at Choctaw Lake
was a huge success. The fishing rodeo was sponsored by the Choctaw
County Chamber of Commerce, U.S. Forest Service, Mississippi
Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks and Farm Bureau Insurance.
The Mississippi Department of Wildlife Fisheries and Parks (MDWFP)
stocked Choctaw Lake with catfish. The daily park fee at the Choctaw
Management Area was waived for families during the fishing rodeo by
the U.S. Forest Service. There was a five fish limit for each child
at the beginning of the rodeo, but was changed to ten fish after many
of the children caught their limit early in the day. A total of 178
children participated in the fishing rodeo with an estimated 450
The first 150 children to register at the fishing rodeo received a
cap donated by the Southern Company. At the opening ceremony Stewart
Edwards, President of French Camp Academy and board member of the
Choctaw County Economic Development District led everyone in prayer.
Boy Scout Troop 41 chartered by Ackerman United Methodist Church
presented the colors and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Lara Bowman,
Director of the Choctaw County Chamber of Commerce, welcomed and
thanked all parents and children for attending the rodeo. Sherry
Hazelwood, director of the fishing rodeos for the MDWFP, gave all the
families the rules for having a fun, safe day of fishing.
Children who caught a catfish with a red tag received a special door
prize. Area businesses donated door prizes for the fishing rodeo.
When the children grew weary of fishing there was fishing related
activities to continue to hold their interest. The kids could color
a fish to hang up on a clothes line or have their face painted.
There was a casting game to help the kids learn to cast. Door prizes
were awarded to winners of the casting game and to the best colored
fish in different age categories. Smokey the Bear from the U.S.
Forest Service made a special appearance at the fishing rodeo to pass
out fire prevention materials to the kids and take pictures.
Farm Bureau Insurance fed all of the children a hot dog lunch and
provided hamburgers for all of the volunteers. The fishing rodeo
would not have been successful without the time and effort of
volunteers from the community. The Chamber of Commerce had 52
volunteers help families find a place to park, register each child
for the rodeo, help the kids take fish off their poles and provide
A total of $3,500.00 was contributed to the fishing rodeo. The
Chamber of Commerce would like to thank the following community
supporters of the fishing rodeo: Farm Bureau Insurance in Ackerman,
Southern Company, Wal-Mart in Louisville and Starkville, Sullivan’s
Crossroads Grocery in Weir, Guns and Roses Pawn Shop in Ackerman,
Carey and Deb Bunkelman of Menzner Lumber and Supply Company in Weir,
State Farm Insurance agent Bert Parish in Eupora, Sports Center in
Starkville, Mossy Oak in West Point, Delta Telephone Company in
Ackerman and Mississippi State Extension – Choctaw County.