The fishing in the James River was perhaps the best it’s ever been for the Botetourt Children’s Fishing Carnival Saturday on the Town Park in Buchanan.

Dozens of youngsters reeled in dozens of fish from the riverbank and kept the scoring tent busy measuring and keeping count. One youth reportedly had 22 fish under the tape measure, while many others had multiple catches as well.

In all, 394 kids manned fishing poles and enjoyed other activities sponsored by the Botetourt Recreation Maintenance Department and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

According to Botetourt Parks officials, a total of 859 adults and children attended. Of those, 177 were 6 and under and eligible to fish in the “trout tanks” and 217 were 7-15 year olds and fished in the river.

Two popular actiivites for the kids attending the Children’s Fishing Carnival was the birdhouse station and the Petting Zoo . They were among the many activities besides fishing that were available.

The prize winners were:

Grand Prize Drawings

  • 6 and under – Chandler Orange
  • 7-15 years old – Chloe Underwood

Boating Basics

  • 7-9 years old – 1st – Kyleigh Napier, 2nd – Lola Zubke
  • 10-12 years old – 1st Silas Miller, 2nd – Nolan Medley
  • 13-15 years old – 1st David Smith , 2nd – Owen Bankert

Largest Trout Competition – 6 and under Trout Tanks

  • 1st – Klayton Akers
  • 2nd – Noah Keesee

Largest Fish from River

  • 6 and under: 1st – Noah Underwood, 2nd – Holly Weddell
  • 7-15: 1st – Mitchell Snare, 2nd – Mason Harlow
  • Team: 1st – Team Grimes, 2nd – Team Collins

Casting Contest

  • 7-9 years old: 1st – Caden Wright, 2nd – Colt Stewart, 3rd – Emmett Thomasson
  • 10-12 years old: 1st Ryan Aaron, 2nd – TJ Piluso, 3rd – Lindsey Orange
  • 13-15 years old: Logan Campbell, 2nd – Cameron Orange, 3rd Darian Garrison

Goldfish Eating Contest

  • 6 and under – Colt Stewart
  • 7-15 years old – Monica Foley

River Clean up

  • 8 and under
  • 1st – Meredith Allen
  • 2nd – Jeramiah Mundy

9 to 15

  • 1st – Olivia Eubank
  • 2nd – Ryan Aaron
  • Worms in the Dirt – Alyssa Hight
  • NWTF Lantern – Charlie Stewart
  • NWTF Hat – Evan Joyce
  • Shentel 6 and under giveaway – Cayden Wood
  • Shentel 7 – 15-year-old giveaway – Hunter Mundy
  • Trout Unlimited Fly Rod – Susan Palmer
  • Orvis Fly Rod – Lacey Noel
  • Natural Bridge Zoo 4 pack passes – Addison Kelley

Recreation Department organizer Angie Crawford thanked the many who helped. “I would like to thank everyone as this is truly a community event and we are blessed to have this event in Botetourt County,” she said while crediting the sponsors and contributors who make this event possible. “I truly hope I don’t leave anyone off of the list but if so, I truly appreciate you.”

Sponsors and contributors include:

Bank of Botetourt, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Botetourt Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF, Boblett’s Plumbing, American Legion Post 240, Arcadia Shell, Camp Eagle, Country Breeze HVAC, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Shentel, Camp Bethel, Twin River Outfitters, Buchanan Fire Department, Va. Bear Hunters Association, Blue Ridge Farm Equipment, H&H Outdoors, Austin Electric, Sandra’s Marking Company, Natural Bridge Zoo, Lil’ Critters Petting Zoo, Muddy Squirrel, Trout Unlimited, Dead Drift Outfitters, Botetourt Funeral Home, Tidy Services, Mountain View Screenprinting, Town of Buchanan, North Star, Orvis, Virginia Wildlife eStore Grant Program, Reddy Ice, Buchanan Moose Lodge,  Botetourt Recreation Department Maintenance staff and all of the volunteers.

One of the young fishermen checks how he’s doing at the fish measurement tent during Saturday’s Botetourt Children’s Fishing Carnival in Buchanan. Volunteer Gordon McCoy had a busy morning checking and measuring dozens of fish caught in the James River. Nearly 400 youngsters registered for the annual event and enjoyed fishing and a variety of other activities.
Youngsters gathered at the Band Stand in Buchanan Town Park waiting for the announcement of contest and door prize winners.