Event yields record number of youth and fish
GLEN ELDER — The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) hosted the 6th Annual Waconda Lake Youth Fishing Tournament at Glen Elder Reservoir on Saturday, June 5. A record number of young anglers (141) boarded boats and hit the water for a full day of fishing. The day began with a strong south wind that had many of the young anglers wondering how long their fishing would last, but by the end of the day, the wind had diminished, yielding a near-perfect day.

The fish cooperated, too, and all boats were able to bring in at least a few, with walleye dominating the catch. Of the 141 youth who fished — including 131 on 37 boats volunteered by local anglers and 10 youth who fished from the bank — 132 were able to catch at least one fish. The total of 1,545 fish caught included 843 walleye, 266 white bass, 207 drum, 142 crappie, 30 bluegill, 28 channel catfish, 14 smallmouth bass, eight rainbow trout, six wipers, and one largemouth bass.

Following is a list of the winners in each category:

  • most fish — Bryce Nichols, 67;
  • biggest walleye (tie) — Trinity Wagner, 21 inches, and Lucas Mong, 21 inches;
  • biggest crappie — Zachary Stocker, 16 inches;
  • biggest catfish — Melissaty Sexton, 25 inches;
  • biggest white bass — Reid Behrends, 17 inches;
  • biggest wiper — Autumn Vowinkle, 20 inches;
  • biggest smallmouth bass — Beckett Kendrick, 15 inches;
  • biggest largemouth bass — Brittney Rodger, 10.5 inches;
  • biggest drum — Brianna Geisler, 22 inches;
  • biggest trout — Jimmy Broeckleman, 15 inches;
  • biggest bluegill — Shaelyn McMillan, 8 inches; and
  • smallest fish — Gage Trimble, 3 inches.

KDWP staff thank all boat drivers who provided time and equipment, the Waconda Lake Association for providing lunch, Wayne Miner for donating 150 dozen nightcrawlers, and numerous local sponsors who donated more than $1,500 in prizes. Because of their generosity, each youth was able to take home a fishing pole and a bag of tackle, in addition to prizes awarded in each category. Special thanks also to Angie Peterson and the staff of the Glen Elder area office for assisting with the event.