Hook, line and sinker

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Matt Teders, Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife officer, helps Vivian Young show off one of four fish she caught at West Jefferson’s fall fishing derby.

(Posted Sept. 21, 2018)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

West Jefferson’s fishing derbies are fast becoming popular events, according to village Parks and Recreation Director Marci Darlington.

At the Sept. 17 village council meeting, Darlington reported that the fall derby, held Sept. 15, drew more than 60 people, including parents and children.

The derbies take place in mid-June and mid-September at the Duke Realty farmhouse property off of U.S. Rte. 29. Admission, food, and bait are free. Participants can bring their own fishing poles or use gear the village provides.

The village’s street department helps to set up and tear down, as well as cook hot dogs. Other village employees, along with Matt Teders, Ohio Department of Natural Resources wildlife officer, help to bait hooks, restring rods and reels, and teach those who need help how to cast, reel in fish, and release fish back into the water.

The village awards prizes for biggest fish, smallest fish, most fish caught, and ugliest fish caught.

“More than 100 fish were caught, with the largest being a 16-inch wide-mouth bass,” Darlington said.

The smallest fish measured 3 inches, the biggest haul by a single person was 11 fish, and the fish deemed to be the ugliest was a bull-nosed catfish.

Darlington took a moment to thank former West Jefferson mayor Darlene Steele for starting the derbies.

“It just keeps growing and it’s a fun event,” Darlington said.

Looking forward to future events, Darlington is making plans for Make A Difference Day on Oct. 27 at the West Jefferson Community Center. She said details are forthcoming.

The only item on council’s agenda was a general discussion on development issues.

Council President Steve Johnston spoke briefly about Project Maple, a development project linked to a petition requesting the annexation of 205.5 acres from Jefferson Township into the village. He said the annexation would come up later in the year for a public hearing.

Johnston then asked other council members and the audience if they had anything to add to the development discussion. When no one spoke up, the 15-minute meeting continued with committee reports.

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