FULTON, Mo. – Thirty-nine 4-H members and their families participated in a fishing derby, casting contest and skill-a-thon during the annual 4-H Sportfishing State Event held recently at Little Dixie Conservation Area near Fulton.
“Sportfishing is not just about dropping a line in the water and waiting for a bite,” said Shannon White of the University of Missouri Extension 4-H program. “It includes knowledge of aquatic ecology, casting, tackle craft, and even how humans and fish are interdependent. The 4-H sportfishing event focused on all of these things!”
Mark Morgan, MU associate professor of parks, recreation and tourism, autographed copies of his newly released book, “Hook, Line & Sinker,” a collection of fish stories told by Missouri anglers. Employees of the Missouri Department of Conservation served a lunch of Asian carp.
Youth also learned to make their own in-line spinners and to practice knot tying. They also created art by making prints directly from fish, using a technique based on the Japanese art form gyotaku.
Parker Wallace, a Ralls County 4-H member, took top overall honors in the senior division. Brayden Medcalf earned top spot in the intermediate division and John Ulbrich captured first in the overall junior division. Both are from Saline County.
Justin Grove of Adair County took top honors in the senior division of the fishing derby. Wallace took second, and Joel Adams of Lawrence County and Cody Weber of St. Charles County tied for third place.
Winners in the intermediate division were Hannah G. Adams, Lawrence County, first; Medcalf, second; and Anna G. Schneider, Cole County, third. Junior division winners were Victoria Wade, first; Dylan Ohlms, St. Charles County, second; and Jedidiah E. Doyle of Lafayette County, third.
Casting contest winners in the senior division were Wallace, first; Blake M. Forward, Boone County, second; and a tie again between Adams and Weber.
Medcalf topped the intermediate division. Second place went to Hank Thro of St. Charles and third went to Branden Powell, Polk County. Ulbrich took top honors in the junior division of the casting contest. Justin Sweaney of Henry County won second and Ohlms placed third.
Wallace and Caleb Prenger of Callaway County tied for first place in the senior division of the knowledge-based skill-a-thon. Joel Adams of Lawrence County placed third.
Skill-a-thon winners in the intermediate division were Dalton Elder, Cooper County; Logan R. Tracy, Saline County; and Blake Behl, Dallas County. Junior division champions were Ulbrich, first; Tyler C. Rye, Callaway County, second; and Victoria Wade, Cole County, third.
There were more than 20 volunteers representing MU Extension; the MU College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources (CAFNR); the CAFNR Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences; the CAFNR Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; the Missouri Geographic Alliance; and the City of Columbia. Sponsors include MU Extension 4-H, Bass Pro Shops and the Missouri Department of Conservation.