CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - The 17th Annual Trout Derby kicked off Saturday, attracting people from all over the country. The derby is considered one of the biggest in the nation and is hosted by the Chambersburg Noontime Lions Club.
"When it's all said and done we end up profiting about $20,000 to $25,000," said John Nogle, a former chairman of the club. "We pay out anywhere between $15,000 and $17,000, and a lot of people have a great time."Fisherman participating in the event spread out along five miles of the Conococheague Creek for the opportunity to catch some trout. The creek was stocked the night before with over 2,000 trout, but only 600 of those are tagged.
"When they catch a fish that does have a tag in it, they bring it in here and we pay them," Nogle added. "The payouts range from $25 all the way up to $2,000."
Participants say they enjoy the event regardless of catching a tagged fish or not.
"It's exciting to know if you're going to catch a tagged fish, or not or any fish at all," said participant Justin Thompson.
"You could be a skilled angler or just plain lucky and still win money," Nogle adds. "They come in with the anticipation, they don't know how much it worth. I think everyone has a good time regardless of the payout."
The participants can also enter a raffle for a chance to win fishing trips, TV sets and gas cards. The derby is a two-day event and runs through Sunday afternoon.