For the last 15 years, the Montrose Rotary Club has teamed up with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife to host a fishing derby at Chipeta Lake.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife provided free fishing poles and bait, and Rotary Club volunteers cooked hot dogs and offered drinks.
Both groups, along with help from the Gunnison Gorge Anglers, manned the event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and help anyone who needs it.
“It's a way for kids to come out who might have never fished before,” said Joel Evans, of the Gunnison Gorge Anglers.
Evans, who gave a short demonstration and safety talk prior to the start of the event, said the goal is to get kids interested in fishing so they can enjoy the outdoors rather than being “glued to electronics.”
Montrose resident and mother Kristi Archer liked it. “It just sounded like fun, and Brody has never gone fishing before,” Archer said.
Three-year-old Brody was all smiles Saturday, and his favorite part about the day was “catching fish,” he said.
Nine-year-old Casten Hess also was enjoying the derby and came with his grandfather, sister and cousins. By 10 a.m., he'd already caught one rainbow trout, but let it go.
“I really don't like the taste of fish,” he said. “I normally come here to fish, though, because there are lots of big ones.”
Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocked the lake earlier in the week with Snake River cutthroats, Colorado's native trout, as well as rainbow trout and bass, organizer Jim Anderson said. The stocked cutthroats were up to 19-inches long, he added.
Participants under the age of 16 were allowed to fish for free, but anyone older then 16 had to have a fishing license. Each person could keep up to four fish, according to state law.