by Bill Bush
SEDGWICK—The Sedgwick Police Department held its first annual kids’ fishing derby on Sunday with 45 participants, according to Police Chief Brian Daily. Daily estimated they had over a hundred total in attendance.
Six-year-old Callen Leiker won two categories—the most fish caught (6) and the largest fish caught (4 pounds, 10 ounces). Bradyn Hansen (13 years old) won the smallest fish category with his 14-ounce catch.
Daily said the highlight for him was seeing the kids having a good time.
“It’s been an interesting journey because we just started with a pond dredging and from that, it’s turned into all these other opportunities,” Daily said. “It was just seeing the kids engaged. They were all having a good time. We’ve got the park but we just haven’t had as much opportunity as I’d like to have for kids in the summer and this is definitely gonna start opening some of that up.”
Daily said the police department plans to make the fishing derby an annual event, plus they are going to add another fishing derby during Sedgwick’s Fall Festival in September. David Breth of The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) has told Daily they will restock the pond before the festival.
The KDWP will also help Sedgwick develop a second pond, according to Daily. He’s submitting a grant application this week to help cover the costs of docks in the current pond, a walkway around the other pond, and a parking lot to service both.
KDWP has registered Sedgwick up for the Community Fisheries Assistance Program (CFAP), which is the KDWP’s nationally recognized program with Wildlife and Parks where they help communities build their fisheries up. The partnership has helped developed and stocked Sedgwick’s pond.
“That pond’s part of the CFAP program, and because of that it’s open to the public to fish and I would encourage people to go out there and enjoy the opportunity,” Daily said.