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Catfish rodeo returns to Chambers lake

For the third consecutive year, Chambers County Lake will hold its catfish rodeo on Saturday.

“It’s a family day,” said Ted Craig, manager of Chambers County.

The event normally takes place in June, but Craig said last year that he wanted to have the event closer to the end of the school year so more children would be in town. According to Craig, there were about 130 children that participated in the 2019 rodeo. He expects anywhere from 150 to 170 children this year.

“I’m planning for 200, but you never know,” Craig said. “It’s going to be a pretty nice day.”

The rodeo is for children 12 years old or younger.

Registration will start at 8 a.m. EST, and there is no registration fee. The actual event will start at 8 a.m. EST and run until 1 p.m. The fish will be in the cove near the bait shop and a net will be around the area, so the fish will not travel outside the zone.

At 1 p.m., awards for the biggest fish and heaviest fish will be given out. After the awards are handed out, all children will be given lunch and be allowed to continue fishing until all of the catfish are caught.

“It’s an all-day affair for them,” Craig said.

Auburn University provided more than 700 pounds of catfish for the event.

There will also be a raffle. Winners of the raffle will receive fishing gear.

In order to comply with social distancing guidelines, Craig said that a volunteer would be placed with a family. That volunteer’s job is to keep the family together and to enforce social distancing guidelines. People are encouraged to wear masks if they have them, but masks are not required.

“We’re just following guidelines from the governor’s office. Montgomery has blessed it, so I think it’s going to work out pretty well,” Craig said.

The netted area for the fish has been expanded to accommodate more room than in previous years.

Chambers County Sherif Sid Lockheart is expected to be there with his food cart to grill for the adults in attendance.