The Southern Chester County Weeklies (

A day to just go fishing

By Chris Barber, Avon Grove Sun

Saturday, May 3, 2014

KENNETT SQUARE --- Scores of outdoorsy, fish-loving folks made their way to Anson B. Nixon Park for the 19th annual Trout Rodeo on Saturday sponsored by the Red Clay Valley Association and the Kennett Area Park Authority.

Red Clay and Brandywine Valley Associations Executive Director Jim Jordan said advance registration this year was slow, but by Saturday morning the banks of the lakes filled up with arrivals.

On Friday, Jordan and his staff stocked the two lakes that straddle the Kennett Square and Kennett Township line in the park with more than 600 trout that arrived by truck from the Cherry Valley Trout Hatchery in Stroudsburg. The species varied from rainbow, to brown to golden, ranging in size from 12 to 22 inches.

By 10 a.m. there were plenty of lines in the water, and quite a few of the fishing enthusiasts had bagged more than three or four to take home.

The trout rodeo was a family affair with many of the participants with children as young as 4 years old reeling in a fish or two.

Young Nick Foley of West Chester laid out seven trout he and his father had caught. When he was asked what the secret to successful fishing is, he said, “Patience.”

Ryan Dean of Kennett Square was there with his friends, and he showed off a large golden he had caught. He said they had caught a large bass but had to throw it back because the season to catch that species doesn’t arrive until June.

Another young fisherman had reeled in a large snapping turtle, which he avoided touching by snipping off the line and sacrificing the bobber.

The Weeks family of West Grove, repeat and enthusiastic fishermen, were on the scene. Four-year-old Austin held up three his family had caught, but admitted that it was his father, not himself, who had bagged them.

The anglers were met with good weather and clean lakes on Saturday. Jordan pointed to aerators in the middle of both lakes that had been installed last summer to stave off algae. He said the cost was in the range of $6,000 for the project.

Additionally, the running paths around the lakes were packed and clear, perhaps in anticipation of The Big Race” -- the Kennett Run -- scheduled for two weeks later and planned to end in the park.

Fisherman Mark Ditchfield, who won last year’s Trout Rodeo for catching the biggest fish, did his angling from a wheelchair. He said he was pleased with the condition of the paths because the gravel was well packed and he was able to get around easily.

This is the 19th year for the rodeo, which this year included a raffle, refreshments, fly tying and prizes.