AIKEN, S.C. (October 12, 2018) – U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and U.S. Forest Service personnel from the Savannah River Site (SRS), working with the National Wild Turkey Federation, recently held the Ultimate Fishing Challenge at SRS to honor local first responders from nearby counties.
"We have abundant natural resources here at SRS that we can share with members of those groups who have put their lives on the line for us, such as our military veterans and first responders," said Tony Towns, DOE Natural Resources Program Manager. "Along with our annual Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt and SRS Ultimate Turkey Hunt, this fishing event is one more way we can say thank you for your service."
This past weekend, dozens of police, fire and rescue and other first responders enjoyed hours of fishing on a lake at SRS, appreciating the comradery, near-wilderness conditions and the chance to catch the fish of a lifetime.
According to Tal Mims, Wildlife Program Manager, U.S. Forest Service Savannah River, the volunteers are the heart of what makes this experience so rewarding for the first responders. "It's not just the fact that the volunteers devoted most of their weekend to create such special memories for our guests. These men and women truly care, and they want to demonstrate their appreciation to these first responders," said Mims.
The catch and release fishing contest held Saturday, Oct. 6, ended with a cook out and the presenting of awards for several categories including most fish caught, largest fish and total weight. The winning catch came in at an average of nine pounds per fish.
"It was a blessing to come out here on Par Pond. Hardly anyone ever gets to fish it," said Bert Holliday, Augusta Fire Department. "They have a good thing going here with this program. The U.S. Forest Service, Wild Turkey Federation and DOE did a great job today."
"The day was successful in many ways," said Towns. "This is especially true considering it gave us the opportunity to honor these amazing people who have dedicated their lives to helping those in dire need."
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