Although it drizzled on and off Saturday morning during Cranberry’s first fishing derby at Graham Park, the kids in attendance didn’t mind—and neither did the fish.
“They’re already wet,” joked Greg Smith, interim director of the township’s parks and recreation department.
The derby officially opened the park’s new one-acre fishing pond. Cranberry manager Jerry Andree called the pond—which is located next to the new Scouting Centennial monument and plaza—a great addition to the community.
“What’s really nice is to see the activity,” he said Saturday. “It just adds another aspect to the quality of life in Cranberry.”
Venture Outdoors North in Zelienople provided rods, tackle, and bait for the event. The nonprofit also had an instructor giving advice at the lake, which was stocked with bass and bluegill.
Gary Szafranski, who had a bass slip on and off his line Saturday, said his 6-year-old son, Evan, was delighted to attend the derby.
“He was very exited,” Szafranski, of Mars, said. “He loves fishing.”
Evy McLaughlin, 10, also attended the event with her Cranberry-based family, including cousin Ayden Scherer. The 3-year-old surprised everyone by catching three fish on Saturday.
The fishing lake will be open all year. Because it is a private body of water, no state fishing license is required to use it. Fishing at the lake is catch-and-release only—meaing any fish caught has to immediately be returned to the water.
Brian Perry, activities director for Cranberry's parks and recreation department, said the township hopes to hold more fishing derbies in the future, including in the fall and spring.
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