FARMINGTON – To share the joy of fishing, the Farmington Recreation Department will hold its first annual fishing derby for developmentally disabled adults on July 3.

Many local children participate in the annual July 4 fishing derby at Rollo Pond located in Abbott Park at the University of Maine at Farmington, and the Recreation Department offers a supervised fishing program on July 3 for beginning anglers.

Recreation Director Steve Shible began thinking about offering something for adults with developmental disabilities, many whom use the facilities at the Community Center and Hippach Field, he said.

The pond is stocked with 100 rainbow trout for the July 4 derby. Shible enlisted Coca-Cola Bottling of Farmington to sponsor the new derby and buy 36 extra fish for the new program, which will be offered from 11 a.m. to noon July 3, free of charge for these special members of the community.

Each participant, accompanied by a family member or supervisor from a local support agency, will have an opportunity to catch one rainbow trout. If more than 36 people want to participate, a lottery system will be used to assign who will begin to fish at the start of the derby and who will replace them when they catch a fish.

Once 36 fish are caught or one hour passes, whichever comes first, the Derby will end, Shible said.

The Recreation Department cannot furnish fishing equipment. The Life Enrichment Advancing People agency plans to provide a limited number of fishing poles. Fly rods cannot be used. Bait, such as worms, night crawlers or lures must be furnished by participants.

Those interested in participating can call the Recreation Department at 778-3464 this week through Friday, June 26. Registration information can be left on the answering machine day or night, Shible said. The participant’s name, telephone number, town of residence, agency affiliation and derby assistant’s name are needed. A staff member will confirm the registration prior to the derby.

On July 3, a limited number of children can participate in the Recreation Department’s supervised fishing program beginning at 9 a.m. The 90-minute program for beginners, ages 7 to 11, teaches the basics of fishing while promoting safe fishing. Early registration is suggested. Those interested can contact the Recreation Department.

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