Young anglers reel in the fish

Hunter Giles, 9, tries his hand at hooking a trout at the Heath Township Sportsmen’s Club on Saturday. (By Randy Bartley)
Staff writer

It was raining, the water was high but the fish were biting in Sigel on Saturday at the annual Heath Township Sportsmen’s Club fishing derby.

A number of families brought their portable shelters with them, which made the pond at Clear Creek State Park look more like a county fair than a fishin’ hole.

On Friday night, the members of the club stocked the pond with about 1,500 trout, giving every one of the estimated 100 young anglers a chance at catching a prize.

The trout that escaped Saturday were still on the hook Sunday when the club held a fishing event for area veterans, about 70 of whom had registered for the event.

The fish came from the club’s hatchery at the site of the old Heath Pump Station along the Clarion River. The club receives 8,800 trout from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. Keeping the fish fed costs the club about $5,000 annually.