The 30th annual Family Fishing Day was held June 23 at Hills Creek Lake at Hills Creek State Park. It is held to promote the family sport of fishing and to highlight the lake's excellent warm water fishery.
Medallions were awarded for the largest perch, bluegill, black crappie, largemouth bass and heaviest stringer of game fish.
Winners included Colton Bathurst, who caught the largest bluegill at a little over half a pound, and Daniel Guisewite, who won the award for the largest black crappie, which weighed in at nearly 3/4 of a pound.
Alexa Miller, of Loganton, won with the largest perch, which weighed more than half a pound.
The big winner was Brett Shirk. His largemouth bass weighing 4 pounds, 10 ounces anchored the largest stringer of game fish totaling 12 pounds, 4 ounces, allowing him to claim both awards.
Lake conditions were more challenging than in years past due to an early spring growth of aquatic weeds. Treatment for the weeds has occurred since the contest, making the fishing a lot less challenging.
Prior to the contest, Dave Miller, of Sugar Valley Taxidermy, honored and thanked the park by presenting mounts of last year's winning fish, which were caught by him and his brother, Rick. Dave won the 2011 Family Fishing Day contest for the largest black crappie and yellow perch, while his brother won for the largest bass by weight.
The mounts were accepted on behalf of the park by Assistant Park Manager Ben Stone and Park Naturalist Jim Mucci. The mounts are on display in the park office for all to see.
For more information on other fishing opportunities at Hills Creek State Park, call the park office at 724-4246.