Times Journal

Posted August 15, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Up to 24 soldiers will be paired with local anglers to form fishing groups for the first annual Wounded Warriors Fishing Derby, which is being held Tuesday, September 11, 2012 at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH). Considered one of the finest fishing areas in the Eastern United States, Wounded Warriors will have the opportunity to fish Lake Cumberland, Cumberland River, and Hatchery Creek.

While some of the areas best-known fishing guides take the soldiers out to fish for stripers, other warriors will be treated to on-shore fishing for trout. A three hour rotation cycle will allow all anglers to take advantage of the great action just waiting to be had. With assistance from a network of guides and fishermen throughout the region and caring local and corporate sponsors, Wolf Creek NFH plans to host this event each year.

Inspired by the Friends of Wolf Creek NFH, the derby was developed to get wounded service members outside and help them recover by enjoying fishing experiences. Wolf Creek NFH anticipates wounded warriors will find a new comfort in the simple act of going out on a fishing trip. By their very nature, outdoor recreational activities are extremely therapeutic and have been shown through recent examples to make a difference in our returning warrior’s lives.

Although angling is only one of those outdoor activities, it is one that can help our returning heroes escape the hardships of combat deployments and begin the process of assimilation back into the everyday life.

Veterans who suffered various injuries related to their service, including amputations, post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, paralysis, etc., are encouraged to participate.

All Kentucky Sport Fishing Regulations will apply. Lunch and fishing equipment will be provided. Pre-registration will be conducted through Wolf Creek NFH.

Veterans are invited to the fishing derby through the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit agency that seeks “to honor and empower wounded warriors, and to foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.

The basic schedule of events, all centered at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery.

* 6:30 a.m., soldiers will arrive at Wolf Creek NFH parking lot.

* 7-10:30 a.m. Group 1: Striper fishing on Lake Cumberland.

* 7-10:30 a.m. Group 2: Trout fishing on Cumberland River or Hatcher Creek.

* 10:30-11:45 a.m., lunch.

* 12 noon to 3 p.m. Group 1: Trout fishing on Cumberland River or Hatchery Creek.

* 12 noon to 3 p.m. Group 2: Striper fishing on Lake Cumberland.

Wolf Creek NFH works to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members.

For more information on this event or volunteer opportunities at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, please contact Kristi Pupak, Environmental Education/Outreach Specialist, at 270-343-3797 or via email: kristina_pupak@fws.gov.

For complete details and updated information visit fws.gov/wolfcreek/ For regular updates, photos, Hatchery news and more, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/Wolf CreekNFH/ and on Twitter at twitter.com/WolfCreekNFH/.