Eighteen-month-old Breland Walker with Emily Walker, Jonathan Walker and Bob Breland.
Eighteen-month-old Breland Walker with Emily Walker, Jonathan Walker and Bob Breland.

The rain held off and the temperatures were tolerable Saturday as more than 300 young people and their families turned out for the annual Catfish Rodeo at Neshoba Lake.

The event was one of more than 60 youth fishing rodeo held throughout the state each year and sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

 Sheri Hazelwood, who heads up the rodeo program statewide, reported that one young fisherman caught a 10.5 pound catfish.

 “It was a wonderful day,” Hazelwood said. ‘The weather cooperated and everyone caught fish.

 “There were a lot of tagged fish caught and a lot of prizes given out. We want to thank the parents, grandparents and others who brought the children out to fish. We are trying to create a love for fishing. If you keep a child on the banks, he won’t be in the streets.”

 Hazelwood said more than 8,000 children attended the rodeos last year. If you add in the two or three family members who usually accompany each child, it had to be quite a crowd. “You do the math,” Hazekwood said.

 Hazelwood said she had two fishing rodeos this week. The first will be Wednesday at the Natural Wildlife Museum in Jackson on Wednesday. Another will be held near Houston on Saturday.