Outdoor Journal

Reel good time: The seventh annual Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby will be held on Saturday, August 2, at the Oconaluftee Islands Park in Cherokee. The all-day event entertains up to 2,000 children annually.

Activities include fly-tying exhibitions, fish-cleaning stations, wildlife and fisheries exhibits, food, music and door prizes. Trophies will be awarded. The Trout Derby is free for children ages 3 to 11.

Educational hands-on booths will entertain and delight children including a mobile aquarium from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. Professional bass fishermen Orlando Wilson and Marty Fourkiller will also be in attendance.

Registration begins on August 1 at the Ceremonial Grounds, located across from the Cherokee Welcome Center. Registration is also available the morning of the event. Bait and hooks will be available, and breakfast and lunch will be served free to children who are registered participants. Registration is limited to the first 2,000 children; poles and T-shirts are provided. There is a five-fish limit per child.

Thirty miles of fast-flowing streams are stocked during the fishing season that runs April through February each year. Most of the fish that fill the streams are grown on the tribe’s own trout farm in the Big Cove Community. In fact, North Carolina trout season literally starts in Cherokee.

The Talking Trees Children’s Trout Derby has been named one of the “Top 20 events” in 2007 by the Southeast Tourism Society.

For more information, visit www.cherokee-nc.com or call 800-438-1601.

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