The 1st Annual Wounded Warriors Fishing Derby was held September 11, 2012 at Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery (NFH). The event included 16 veterans who suffered various injuries related to their service. Lake Cumberland and the Cumberland River are considered one of the finest fishing areas in the Eastern United States, Wounded Warriors had the opportunity to fish both of these waters.

The fishing started early in the morning, with the goal of catching a limit of Striped bass. Some of areas best fishing guides took soldiers on charter boats to fish Lake Cumberland. After three and a half hours of Striper fishing, the group took a lunch break. After lunch, veterans were treated to some great trout fishing at Hatchery Creek and the Cumberland River for the remainder of the afternoon.

Clear skies, warm weather and calm water conditions made for a memorable event that has already sparked interest for next year.

The Friends of Wolf Creek NFH, Inc. through the generosity of local and corporate sponsors provided the group lunch, a t-shirt, and all fishing licenses required for the day.

Wolf Creek NFH organized the event as a way to thank the Soldiers for their sacrifices made in service to the nation. The event offered them a chance to experience the numerous fishing opportunities that the area offers, along with a chance to enjoy each others’ camaraderie.

The event was developed to get wounded service members outside and help them recover by enjoying fishing experiences. Wolf Creek NFH anticipates veterans will find a new comfort in the simple act of going out on a fishing trip. By their very nature, outdoor recreational activities are extremely therapeutic and have been shown through recent examples to make a difference in our returning warrior’s lives. Although angling is only one of those outdoor activities, it is one that can help our returning heroes escape the hardships of combat deployments and begin the process of assimilation back into to everyday life.

Image courtesy Kristi Pupak/USFWS

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