McChord Top III hosts family fishing derby

By Senior Airman Divine Cox on May 6, 2016

It was a great day for fishing, and families to took advantage of the beautiful weather by gathering their fishing poles and baiting hooks for the Annual McChord Field Top III Children's Fishing Derby at Carter Lake on McChord Field.

This year's Fishing Derby, April 30, saw more than 500 children and volunteers participate in the event.

For the derby, children ages 1 to 14 years old, split into four age groups and fished for an hour-and-a-half for an opportunity to win prizes and trophies.

"This event was a huge success," said Master Sgt. Anthony Urbancic, 627th Logistic Readiness Squadron customer support section chief and Top III representative. "All the children caught at least one fish and I saw a lot of smiles on all the kids faces."

For a lot of the families, this was the first time participating in this event, but there were also repeaters as well.

"This was my first time coming out to the derby," said Staff Sgt. Codi Powers, 627th LRS fuels technician. "I am a huge outdoorsman and I wanted to bring my son out here to experience fishing and become familiar with some outdoor events."

Tech. Sgt. James Lee, Joint Base Lewis-McChord ALS instructor, is a repeater for the event.

"This is a great event put on by an awesome organization," said Lee. "I have been bringing my son out here to the derby for a couple years now and the event gets better and better. I enjoy teaching, so having the opportunity to come out to this event and teach my son about fishing excites me."

Urbancic said he coordinates with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to help stock the lake on JBLM.

"Cater Lake was stocked with more than twelve hundred trout," said Urbancic. "We wanted every child to have a chance to catch fish; to be afforded the opportunity to win trophies and prizes."

For this year's event, trophies were given out for the shortest, longest, and most fish caught for each age group.

Urbancic announced for the event that the shortest fish caught was eight inches, the longest fish caught was 19 inches, and the most caught was 16.

A variety of organizations contributed to the derby this year, including the Team McChord Chiefs Group, the Air Force Sergeants Association, Team McChord Top III, Pierce Military and Business Alliance, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, to help with prizes and trophies for the children.

The USO contributed as well, serving lunch for free to the families who participated.

"If I am still here, I will definitely be attending this event again," said Powers. "My son and I had a really good time bonding. All he wanted to do was catch a fish, and we caught multiple fish."