Elks Aidmore Children's center holds annual fishing contest

CONYERS - A Rockdale children's center that helps teenage girls who can no longer live at home is opening its doors to the entire community this weekend.

From 8:30 a.m. to noon Saturday, children ages 15 years old and younger and their families are invited to the third annual Small Fry Fishing Contest at Elks Aidmore Children's Center, located at 2394 Morrison Road in Conyers. It's free and open to the public; refreshments also will be available.

"It's a great little event," said Virginia Voll, community relations and marketing director at the center. "We really have lots of fun."

She said the center will provide the bait, but the children should bring their own fishing poles. It's not necessary that they have fishing experience.

"A lot of people will be fishing for the first time that day," she said. "It's a wonderful little place to learn to fish, and people from the Department of Natural Resources will be there to help."

The center, which also opens its fishing pond, campgrounds and hiking trails to the public throughout the year, started the program after the DNR began stocking its pond. By doing so, the center is required to have some kind of activity for kids each year.

"It's a wonderful family event and a great way to spend the morning with their child and a way to make a lasting moment," Voll said. "It's not a fundraiser - it's a community event."

She said the DNR stocks its pond ever year with about 2,000 catfish, so they expect they have about 4,000 to 5,000 catfish in its pond. Having a path around the pond with floating docks and benches scattered about, there's plenty of room for families to catch some fish.

"Last year almost everyone who came caught a fish," Voll said.

The center will award prizes to those who catch the largest fish and those who catch the most fish.

"We do ask people that if they are not going to eat the fish, please throw them back," Voll said. "They can take home what they catch as long as they are going to eat them."

After the contest, guests are invited to participate in paddle boat races, which will cost $5 per entry. The prize is a chance to win a weekend on the center's campground for the entire family.

The center also suggests guests walk the center's hiking trails and the rest of its 125-acre property and plan a fishing trip or camping experience in the future.

"It's in a beautiful location," she said. "And it's going to be a beautiful day."

More information about the event and the center is available by

calling 770-483-3535 or visiting www.elksaidmore.com.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.