On May 31, 80 children from the Lakeland area participated in a day of activities at the second annual Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge Youth Fishing Derby and Bassmaster's Casting Kids Contest. The fishing derby was held at Flatlanders Lake in Lakeland. The Casting Kids Contest was held at nearby Banks Lake NWR.

Fishing award winners included:

-- 3-5 age group, Logan Williford with 58 fish and the largest fish of 10.5 pounds and Katie Walden with the smallest fish of .50 pounds.

-- 6-8 age group, Raigene Wooten with 40 fish, Brandon Daniels with the largest Fish of 5 pounds and Nicholas Wyers with the smallest fish of .25 pounds.

-- 9-12 age group, Roger Torres with 46 fish, Sara O'Neal with the largest fish, 13.5 pounds, and Sonya Bradford with the smallest fish, .25 pounds.

-- 13-15 age group, Will Willis, 55 fish, Jermaine Johnson with the largest fish of 10.5 pounds, and Christy Ryan with the smallest fish of .50 pounds.

After the fishing derby concluded, participants moved to Banks Lake NWR to continue the competition with the Casting Contest. The top winner in each age group continue on to the state level competition held in Atlanta during February. The top two competitors at the state level then vie for a $5,000 college scholarship at the national level supported by the Bass Anglers Sportsmens Society Federation.

Winners included:

-- First place for the 7-10 years old, David O'Neal; second place, Joel McMillian; and third place, Darius Jorden.

First place for the 11-14 years old, Will Willis; second place, Steven Obester; and third place, Zachary Bland.

For information, contact Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Route 2 Box 3330, Folkston, Ga. 31537 or phone the Visitor Center at (912) 496-7836.

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