Moose deliver fish for young anglers |

Moose deliver fish for young anglers

Tim Parsons

Provided by Paul Hale. Big smiles will go with big fish on Sunday at the Moose Lodge's Kids Fishing Derby at Baron Lake in Tahoe Paradise.

The fish are on their way and children will surely follow.

South Lake Tahoe’s Moose Lodge will have its biggest event of the year Sunday, the Kids’ Fishing Derby at Lake Baron in Tahoe Paradise.

The fourth annual event from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. should be a success for the young anglers, considering the half-ton of rainbow trout weighing 11Ú2 to 5 pounds to be added to the nine-acre lake this week.

Last year more than 300 children competed in the derby. Moose Lodge member Rus Wilson said more than 400 could show up this year, but this reporter knows Wilson is capable of an exaggerated fish story.

Speaking of stories, some Moose members cognizant of one of infamy will camp out after the fish are stocked. They will prevent people from fishing before Sunday. According to the legend, a few years ago during the derby, a local restaurant had a special on trout while Lake Baron was suspiciously low on fish.

“We’ll have a couple of campers out there to make sure some older guys don’t come out there and steal the kids’ fish,” Wilson said.

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Kevin Maurer, a Moose officer, helped attain more than 50 sponsorships from businesses and individuals.

“Most people were very willing to help us,” the organization’s sergeant of arms said. “Out of all the people I asked, only four told me no. Just to see those kids carrying big, huge fish with smiles on their faces makes it worth it right there.”

The major sponsors are KMart, Raley’s, Lira’s Market and El Dorado Savings. Hot dogs, Polish dogs, sodas and chips will be free. The top three derby winners for catching the biggest fish will get free savings accounts. The kid with the biggest fish gets $100, and the second- and third-place finishers each get $50.

A raffle will be conducted at noon.

Past Gov. Paul Hale resurrected the fishing derby four years ago at the body of water longtime residents refer to as “the man-made lake.”

Hale will meet with a Buena Vista Trout Farms truck from Ione, Calif. for two stockings this week. There will be $3,000 worth of trout going into the lake.

Boy Scouts from both sides of the lake, Troops 549 and 468, will be at the derby to provide instruction to the younger anglers.

Because the lake is stocked so late in the season, many of the fish prove too elusive for the fishermen each year and survive throughout the winter.

The veteran lunkers will be a special challenge Sunday and throughout the fall.

“There are still four- and five-pounders in the lake, but they don’t want to bite on anything because there’s too much natural food,” said the park’s manager Steve Dunn.

When there is not a fishing derby, the Lake Baron courtesy limit is two fish.

There are more than 5,000 Moose affiliates across the world. They fund local community projects. This year nearly $1,500 was raised in Tahoe for survivors of the tsunami in South Asia.

The local chapters use membership dues to fund Mooseheart, a community south of Chicago which takes care of orphans, and Moosehaven, a retirement community near Jacksonville, Fla.

There are 280 South Lake Tahoe Moose Lodge members.