MOORE — Organizers of the Moore Fishing Derby hope to enable children in their community, located on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, to replace nightmares of killer tornadoes with fond memories of fishing.
Parents are invited to bring their children to Buck Thomas Park’s pond from 7:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturday for a day of fishing. Rods, reels and bait will be provided. The pond is being stocked with fish to ensure youngsters will have good opportunities to catch something.
Residents in the state of Oklahoma have been hard hit by record-setting, weather-related tragedies this year. Just 11 days after the city of Moore was struck by a deadly EF5 tornado, the area of El Reno, also just outside Oklahoma City, was hit with another EF5 storm that set a record width of 2.6 miles. Moore has twice been hit by EF5 tornadoes — most recently in May 2013 and previously in 1999 with a storm that had recording-breaking wind speeds of 302 mph.
The fishing derby has been coordinated by Tackle the Storm Foundation in conjunction with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Fisheries Division, with the support of volunteers from the Oklahoma B.A.S.S. Nation, the North Oklahoma City Bassmasters, the Sooner Bassmasters and the Oklahoma City Junior Bassmasters clubs. Members from each of these organizations, along with several Bassmaster Elite Series anglers and representatives from the Moore Parks and Recreation Department, will be on hand to give children new fishing poles and help them fish.
The brainchild of Bassmaster.com writer Don Barone, Tackle the Storm Foundation aims to establish a sense of normalcy in a child’s life in the aftermath of a natural disaster, such as the devastating tornado that hit Cullman, Ala., in April 2011. That event, an EF4 storm, was the inspiration for Barone’s initiative.