Wednesday, June 20 , 2018, 3:02 pm | Partly Cloudy 67º

 
 
 
 

Cachuma Trout Derby Lures Fishermen of All Ages

Anglers reel in cash, prizes ... and a whole lot of fun.

[Editor’s note: I recently had the privilege of sitting in on Annette Bannister’s writing classes for home-schooled students held at the Goleta Valley Community Center. The 12 students — sixth- through eighth-graders — were quite accomplished writers and I was impressed by the maturity and range of their young voices. They were all attentive and polite kids, too.

We discussed some pretty complex issues, such as why there’s a separation between straight news and opinion, the need for an editorial board, and how best to structure an editorial. The discussions were spirited and everyone spoke up. The kids also peppered me with the more mundane but often vexing questions, such as how you use a second name reference when writing about a husband and wife. During one class, we made a field trip to the Santa Barbara Zoo where the students observed Noozhawk’s Rob Kuznia interview animal care supervisor Michele Green for a story on gorillas. One of their assignments was to write an editorial on the merits of home schooling; you read four of them earlier this week.

Over the next few days we’ll be publishing some of the news and feature stories written by these students — often collaboratively. I think you’ll be as impressed as I was and I hope you’ll take the time to comment on them. Remember, these are sixth- and seventh-graders and one eighth-grader.

Now, to answer your follow-up questions, “What about my kid?” and “How about my school?” In case you hadn’t noticed, Noozhawk is all about community journalism and we’re proud to have so many of you contribute to our coverage. E-mail me at [email protected] and I’d be happy to discuss how we might get your child involved, as well.

Thank you.

— William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk publisher]

A flare shot through the sky announcing the end of the 14th annual, two-day Trout Derby at Lake Cachuma.

More than 850 people participated in last month’s Trout Derby, the proceeds of which benefit the lake’s Nature Center to keep it free to the public.

“We raised over $25,000,” said Linda Taylor, who works at the Nature Center.

Nick Langer of Valencia pulled out the longest trout — 24 3/4 inches long.

“When I saw the longest fish, I wished I would have caught it,” said 7-year-old Kristoffer Dahlstedt of Santa Barbara. This was his first year in the competition.

The shortest trout, which was seven and a half inches long, was caught by Ron Crother.

There are fish in the lake tagged with numbers that have high and low digits, and Todd Bright won $2,000 for the highest tagged trout with the number 1588.

The oldest fisherman was 92-year-old Manuel Medaris.

Ten percent to 15 percent of attendees were children. The youngest fishermen were 6 years old, one of whom was Justin Davidson, who finished fourth with a 16 7/8s-inch fish weighing 1.76 pounds for the Kids 10 and Under division. Michael Stuart, 10, came in first place with an 18 9/16s-inch fish weighing 2.08 pounds. Both boys won $25 and a rod-and-reel combo.

Christina Hanson, 16, won $100 for the longest fish in the Girl’s 11-16 division. Chris Marmiani also won $100 for the Boy’s 11-16 division.

Cachuma officials are proud to say there are no Quagga Mussels in the lake at this time. They hope it stays this way.

Neal Taylor, director of the Nature Center, founded the Trout Derby in 1994. Taylor, a professional fisherman, has taught many important and famous people, including Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, as well as celebrities like Bing Crosby, Andy Divine, Bill Harris, Paul Newman and Tom Selleck.

“I enjoy working with kids the most now,” said Taylor.

Some major events that led to Taylor becoming a world-class angler are that his dad was a great fisherman and Taylor himself won for accuracy in casting tournaments.

Taylor is also planning to lead a kids fishing workshop at the lake this summer. Fifty kids will learn about the different kinds of fish, how to cast, how to tie knots, and more. The events are tentatively scheduled for July 19 and Aug. 23. E-mail the center at [email protected] to pre-register or call 805.693.0691 for more information.

Home-school sixth-graders Johanna Dahlstedt and Ashley Davidson are Noozhawk interns.

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