Kids Fishing Derby a Smashing Success!

The Henry County Water Authority (HCWA) has been known to provide opportunities for outdoor education and recreation, with public fishing being one of the most popular.

The HCWA hosted its annual Kids Fishing Derby recently at the Long Branch Reservoir, located adjacent to its Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center in Locust Grove. Children and youth 18 years of age and younger were invited to attend this free event, which brought out 226 participants and 290 total attendees to enjoy a day of food, fellowship, fishing and fun.

Prizes were awarded to Tamara Carnell for the First Catch to kick off the competition, which saw Hailey Adams reel in a 6.4-pound catfish to win the Biggest Catch of the Day. 

The Long Branch Reservoir – site of this year’s Kids Fishing Derby – is one of five drinking water reservoirs owned and operated by the HCWA. Long Branch is not typically open to the public for fishing, so this year’s Kids Fishing Derby provided an opportunity for young anglers to enjoy a unique fishing experience that included a designated area that had been stocked with catfish, bass, bream, and crappie. Cubihatcha Center staff were on hand to offer the use of fishing poles and bait, as well as tips and instructions for beginners. 

The HCWA offers opportunities for fishing annually to its customers, as well as Henry County residents and property owners, four days per week from March to November. This season, the Authority’s Upper Towaliga and Tussahaw Reservoirs are available for public fishing and boating for a $45 reservoir use permit that’s good for the calendar year, from the date of purchase. Fishing customers with permits can bring a guest with them for free, and discounts are available for seniors and veterans.

While the Authority’s Cubihatcha Center hosted the event, additional sponsors included the ‘We Need 2 Read’ Program (Greg Street) and ‘Teach a Child to Fish’ (Kendall Newson), as well as Paul Davis Restoration, who provided prizes for the winners. 

No fishing licenses or HCWA Reservoir Use Permits were required to fish during the Kids Fishing Derby, because the event was held on one of the select days of the year that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources does not require a license to fish any of Georgia’s waters. These select free fishing days during the year are designed to promote the sport of fishing in the state, while encouraging outdoor recreation.

More details on public fishing at HCWA reservoirs, as well as a photo gallery from this year’s Kids Fishing Derby, are available on the Authority’s website at

Captions for photos (top to bottom):

Hailey Adams (left) receives her prizes, from Del Delnevo (right) of Paul Davis Restoration, for winning the Biggest Catch of the Day during the annual HCWA Kids Fishing Derby.

Tamara Carnell (left) receives her prize for the First Catch of the day at the annual HCWA Kids Fishing Derby.

(L to R) Mia, Jalil, and Jeremiah Johnson, and Jonte Peeler, enjoy time together at the HCWA annual Kids Fishing Derby.

HCWA Mascot Henry C. Water (center) welcomed nearly 300 people to the annual HCWA Kids Fishing Derby, held recently at the Authority’s Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center and adjacent Long Branch Reservoir in Locust Grove.  


Media Contact:     Chris Wood, Ph.D.

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