Annual "Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs" Reels in Youths - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Annual "Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs" Reels in Youths

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TAYLOR COUNTY - As drug addiction continues to be a threat to West Virginia children, Tygart Lake State Park wanted to raise awareness by hosting the annual Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs annual fishing derby Saturday morning.

Event organizers said fishing and drugs may appear to be a random pairing, but the purpose of the derby is to promote health activities for children and teens.

"[Fishing] gives kids a chance to get out and do something that is good for them, it gets them away from that type of environment or gets them away so they don't have a chance to interact in that bad culture," said event organizer Nichole Street.

After the activities in the marina concluded, the event focused on face painting, animal balloons and coloring contests. The fishing derby is aimed at children ages fifteen and under so that by the time they are teenagers they are aware of alternatives to drugs.

"I feel like that target area from 15 - 17, they are kind of risk, so I really want them to have that opportunity to do something that will get them in the right path," said Street.

The awareness appears to be working with even the youngest participants and derby winners.

"My dad told me that it's better don't be on drugs and it's better to just be with nature," said participant and winner of the catching the largest fish Averey Brown.

Organizers believe drug addiction is a state issue, but is especially crucial in Tygart Lake's own Taylor County.

"We have an issue right now with drugs so we need to offer our youth something that's going to give them a good past time," said Street. 

For more information on the fishing derby, visit Tygart Lake's website.