Story Of The Cement Fishing Hole In Waycross
How WRD Fisheries turned an unused city pool into a catfish pond for kids.
If ever there was a need to give a group of folks a thank you, it’s now.
WRD Fisheries has turned a dilapidated downtown Waycross swimming pool into a place to host an annual kids fishing event (KFE). On June 18, 2005, the pool hosted a new bunch of kids that came out to fish in this cement pond.
“We wanted to find ways to provide an urban fishing opportunity,” said Bert Deener, WRD fisheries region VI supervisor.
“We talked with the (Ware County) Rec. Department and said, ‘What do you have?’ They had this big pool, but the plumbing was bad. It would still hold water, so we filled it up and stocked it in the fall.”
This happened in the late 1990s. If this pool wasn’t filled with water and stocked, it would still be sitting in Waycross doing nothing. The repairs to the pool were too costly for the city to afford. WRD Fisheries turned nothing into something, and that something is now exposing kids to fishing.
“It’s great to see the positive effects from this,” said Bert.
Channel cats are stocked in the one-third-acre swimming pool during the late fall. The cats that don’t get caught stay in the pool until next year’s KFE. These KFE survivors eat fish food. “We’ve had them caught up to 4 and 5 pounds,” said Bert.
Forty kids showed up to fish at this year’s event.
“There were 11 kids that had never been fishing before,” said Bert. “A total of 320 channel catfish were caught from the pool.”
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