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Rouzerville trout rodeo makes a splash with young anglers

April 23, 2011|By ROXANN MILLER | roxann.miller@herald-mail.com
  • Red Run Lake in Rouzerville, Pa., was packed with fishermen trying to reel in one of the 600 trout stocked in the lake at Saturday's first annual John Kahl Memorial Trout Rodeo.
By Roxann Miller, Staff Writer

ROUZERVILLE, Pa. — Eager anglers stood elbow-to-elbow around Red Run Lake on Saturday hoping to catch one of the 600 trout during the first annual John Kahl Memorial Trout Rodeo.

Waynesboro Area Senior High School senior Grant Calimer came up with the idea for the trout rodeo in Rouzerville for his senior project.

"For your senior project, you can job shadow, you can build something or you can do something for the community. I decided to do this, because I wanted to try to instill a lifelong love of fishing into kids," Grant said.

The rodeo is named after 17-year-old Grant's fishing buddy John Kahl who died at age 53 last year from complications related to diabetes.

"He would have been down here helping with this," Grant said about Kahl. "He was always fishing with us. He loved to fish."

Grant, with the help of his father, Tim Calimer, and the Rouzerville Business Association, raised $2,500 to stock the lake with trout from Green Spring Trout Farms Inc. of Newville (Pa.) for the event.

"We have the biggest trout that I've ever seen. We put bigger fish in this year than has ever been in this lake before," Grant said. "There has never been this many big fish in this lake before."

Calimer said the lake held 150 trout longer than 16 inches and one rainbow trout longer than  26 inches.

Children ages 10 and younger started off the free fishing rodeo at 9 a.m., and then at noon until 3 p.m. children ages 11 to 16 got a chance to reel in their limit of five fish. At 3 p.m. the fishing was open to all ages. Prizes were awarded to children for bringing in the first five trout in each age category, and for the biggest fish.

Getting 8-year-old Jaired Wetzel to part with his fish long enough to have them filleted by Tim Calimer was not an easy task.

"He won't put them down. He's proud of those fish," Jaired's mother, Jaimie, told Calimer as her son held firmly to the net bag containing his five trout.

Jaimie Wetzel said her young son loved the rodeo.

"He has never really taken an interest in fishing, but you don't usually catch them when you go regular fishing as fast as he did here, because there were so many fish in here that it was so easy and fun for him," said Wetzel.

"We just wanted little kids to get the first crack at it, because that's what it's for. We'd rather see them catch them than anyone else," Grant said.

Seven-year-old Brayden Kline of Waynesboro walked away a happy young fisherman.

"I really liked it, because I got to catch a big fish," said Brayden who plans to mount his 17-inch brown trout on his wall at home.

Grant wants the trout rodeo to be an annual event.

"We definitely want to be involved, but are hoping an WASHS senior takes this on as their senior project next year since it's already a project that's underway; It's a good project," said Grant.

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