By Christy Porter
“Reel them in for healthy hearts” was the theme for the 55th Annual Rose Holland Trout Derby. Angler enthusiasts as well as those ready to enjoy a full weekend of fun things to do in the beautiful setting of Montauk State Park were definitely reeled in this past weekend.
The Rose Holland Trout Derby is held annually the first full weekend of October and is second in attendance only to opening day of the Missouri trout season, in March. Sponsored by the anglers and friends of Montauk State Park in coordination with the Department of Natural Resources, the derby raises funds with all proceeds benefiting the American Heart Association.
“We broke all records in donations with a total of $14,756, up from last years $14,265 record breaking amount, said Dorman L. Steelman Lodge’s Darlene Griffith, “That’s in spite of mother nature.” Heavy rain caused flooding and an evacuation late Sat. evening which cleared the area, but most participants returned Sun. morning.
The derby honors Roosevelt “Rose” Holland who was born and raised at Montauk. Holland started this Missouri state park trout hatchery system in 1939 and operated it until his death from a heart attack in 1963. A monument in his honor stands in front of the Montauk hatchery.
Registration for the derby started Fri. evening, continuing Sat. and Sun. with fishing hours Sat. 7:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. and Sun. 7:30 – 11 a.m. Steve Bost, park Naturalist, hosted trout bingo at 6 p.m. Also Friday from 4 – 9 p.m. was the “Cruise into Montauk” car show sponsored by the Current River Cruisers Club. It was truly a car show with over 60 top notch vehicles from all motoring eras. Prizes were for Best Ford – Lyle Hutchens, Salem with a 54 Ford F-600; Best GM – Larry Wofford, Salem with a 64 Impala SS; Best Mopar – Tom Gale, Licking with a 66 Coronet; Best Other Makes – Terry and Betty Welch, Lenox with a 51 Willys pickup; Best Rat Rod – Jerry Wofford, Salem with a 48 Ford and Long Distance Travel – Russell Hairer, St. Louis at 138 Miles with a 25 Fort T. All proceeds benefited the American Heart Association.
Saturday was a full day of family friendly events in addition to the trout fishing. The country store was open at 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. for shopping, and free health screenings were held 9 a.m. – noon. The Montauk Fire Department volunteers provided kids activities from 11 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. At 5 p.m., in front of the lodge, an auction was held.
There were guided hikes on the Pine Ridge Trail in the morning and a Know the Dark night hike, an opportunity to learn about creatures of the night, was held Sat. evening to promote Hike’s for Your Heart. For those with bikes, a 3/4 mile Lake Trail and tour of the park took place from 1:30 – 3 p.m.
No one needed to go hungry, with BBQ available from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Country Store and dessert available at the bakeshop 7:30 a.m. – noon. This was in addition to the Dorman L. Steelman Lodge snack bar and full service restaurant.
Live entertainment started at noon – 2 p.m. with “The Usual Suspects” and from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. with the “Current River Bluegrass.”
Sunday morning the trout fishing continued until 11:30 a.m. with all prizes being awarded at noon in front of the Lodge.
Prizes included Men’s Heaviest Trout – Paul Terry, St. Louis weighing in at 7 lbs. 12 oz.; Women’s Heaviest Trout – Nancy Schmidt, Waterloo, Illinois weighing in at 2 lbs. 7 oz.; Heaviest Brown Trout – Josh Stagner, Baitsville weighing in at 1 lb. 12 oz.; Kids Heaviest Stringers: first place – Heston Parsons, Rolla weighing in at 6 lbs. 7 oz.; second place – Brogan Hawkins, Advance weighing in at 5 lbs. 14 oz.; third place – Brock Ingram, Winchester, Illinois weighing in at 5 lbs. 11 oz.; fourth place – Kinsley Petty, Farmington weighing in at 5 lbs. 11 oz. Two of the nine lunkers caught weighing 3 lbs. or more, were caught by local anglers, Zack Schafer, Salem weighing 5 lbs. 6 oz. and Tad Headrick, Salem weighing 4 lbs. 4 oz.
Oct. 6, 1040 Fishing Tags were sold and Oct. 7, 680. 1065 anglers registered in the Trout Derby this year with 34 kids registering their stringers of fish.
All attendance prizes were donated and were awarded as follows: Kayak to Beth Penton, Bowling Green, Kentucky; Chiminea to Kristen Barrowski, Imperial; Afghan to Dave Demay, Ballwin; Horserace Game to Mike Bailey, Russellville, Kentucky; Framed Picture to Jerry Parrish, Brentwood; Food Saver to Jerry Parrish, Brentwood; Bear/Trout Rod to Ken Hunt, Licking; His and Her Trout Lure Cup to Paul Smart, Newburg.