WEST ESSEX AREA, NJ – This spring, seven fishing derbies have been planned throughout Essex County parks. Five have already taken place and the last two are planned for the following Saturdays: June 6 at Monte Irvin Orange Park in Orange; and June 13 at Irvington Park in Irvington. For both, registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. and the derbies will begin at 9:00 a.m. Awards will be presented at 11:15 a.m. Note: If canceled, the derby will not be made up due to inclement weather. For information, call 973-735-6229.

Sponsored by the Board of Chosen Freeholders, Essex County Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, each derby is free and open to children ages 15 and younger, accompanied by an adult. Participants are responsible for bringing their own fishing pole, bait, bucket and chair. Prizes awill be awarded in various age categories for catching the first and most fish at the conclusion of each derby.

“Our fishing derbies are an excellent opportunity for children to enjoy the historic Essex County Park System in a different and fun way,” said Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. “You’ll have a great time creating your own ‘big fish’ stories and spending some quality time with your friends and families in some of the most beautiful parks in the area. I invite everyone to come out, cast their lines and Experience Essex.”

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Recently, residents from Livingston, Roseland and West Orange took home awards from the derbies held on May 2 and May 9.

On May 2, Sean Mullen from Livingston caught three fish to win the boys' age six-10 category; and both Caitlin Mullen from Livingston and Izzy Law from West Orange caught one each to win the girls' ages six -10 category, during the Essex County Fishing Derby in Essex County Grover Cleveland Park in Caldwell/Essex Fells.

On May 9, Christopher Nigro from Roseland caught five fish to win the boys' age six-10 category; Carolyn Fisher from West Orange caught three fish to win the girls' age zero to five category, and Ashton Balram from West Orange caught four fish to win the boys' age zero to five category, at the Essex County Fishing Derby, which was held at the Orange Reservoir in the Essex County South Mountain Recreation Complex in West Orange.