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Carpe Diem: Our First Annual Rosewood Fishing Derby Recap!

It has been about one year since Rosewood Nature Study Area officially opened to the public and this past weekend we launched our phase two funding campaign with the first annual Carpe Diem Fishing Derby. Thanks to the hard work of our staff, Americorp members, volunteers, local community members and the local businesses that sponsored and supported us, the event was a huge success; over 150 participants fished, learned about wetlands and visited the event.

Over the last year, our phase one Capital Campaign raised $500,000; performed 25,000 hours of restoration; established a pollinator garden; planted 1500+ native plants and grasses; opened 1.3 miles of trail; opened two 1/4-mile pond trail loops; removed 100+ invasive plants; observed 100+ bird and animal species; and established and opened a Nature Center established to the public.

Over the next year, our phase two Capital Campaign will raise $700,000; will open 1.8 additional miles of trail; install interpretive, wayfinding and entry signs; develop education exhibits in the Nature Center; install fishing dock and wildlife viewing vista points; create access to the pollinator garden; plant 2,500 native species; create 50 acres of native species; construct an outdoor classroom for local students.

This first annual Carpe Diem Fishing Derby served as an important fundraising milestone for the Rosewood Nature Study Area and a tremendous opportunity to interact with the community and local media and show the progress that we have made.

We kicked off the morning this past Saturday, June 18th, 2022 with fishing opening officially at 8am for the Derby. The grass carp currently found at Rosewood are actually not native to the area and heavily damage the native plants. They can also outcompete native fish species. Things got off to a speedy start with a number of people catching fish within the first hour. Early in the tournament, our first big excitement came when a large fish was caught by a girl participating in the Derby who was fishing in the front pond.

Nevada Department of Wildlife and our Wetland Restoration Technicians were operating the weigh-in stations for the tournament. As the day progressed and more guests arrived, the carp seemed to "catch-on" and the catches seemed to slow down a bit.

At 10am, our Junior Naturalists team opened the education area sponsored by Desert Wind Homes. Activities in the Junior Naturalists area were wetland education themed and included fly tying, building a wetland, origami, learning about invasive species and more!

The event also featured a photo booth for participants to take pictures with (or without) their catch and test out our Truckee Meadows Parks photo backdrop, Rosewood Nature Study Area Geo Snapchat Filter and red CARPet area. Our photo booth was generously sponsored by Growing Smiles, a local pediatric dentist that provided a few fun dental prizes for the kids.

The event also featured a food court sponsored by Crate Ltd. a local Reno product sourcing company. Visitors had the opportunity to purchase BBQ lunch plates with burgers or hotdogs to help us raise money for the wetlands.

As the day heated up the catches seemed to slow down but the fish got bigger! Finally, the moment of truth had arrived. Weigh-ins had officially closed at noon and it was time to see who was going to walk away with top honors in our first annual Carpe Diem Fishing Derby!

Youth winners:

Smallest fish - Jordan Vega. 3.12 pounds and 18.9in long.

Heaviest fish - Wyatt Koch 16.06 pounds

Longest fish - Wyatt Koch 30in long

Adult winners:

Smallest fish - Steven Savala. 2.69 pounds 19in long

Heaviest fish - Antonia Ojeda. 10.13 pounds

Longest fish - Antonio Ojeda. 29.75 inches long

But the excitement wasn't over just yet. We received some generous raffle donations from local Reno businesses to help us kick off our fundraising efforts! The outpouring of support was immense! Our raffle winners walked away with items like an REI tent; children's books; local food gift cards; fishing gear and more! When it came down to it, our grand prize raffle winner went home with a hotel package from The Jesse in Reno.

Thank you so much to our sponsors and participants. A whopping total of 30 carp were caught this year! We hope to see everyone again next year. The Rosewood Nature Study Area is currently open:

Trails: 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday

8:00am to 7:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday

Visitor Center: 9:00am to 4:00pm, Tuesday through Saturday

Don’t forget to check out our other events and programs like our free Discover Your Parks walks all summer long and Juniors Naturalists educational events. More pictures may be found of this event on the Rosewood Fishing Derby page.

Thank you again to our raffle donors and sponsors: Desert Wind Homes, Growing Smiles, Crate Ltd, The Jesse, RC Willey, Patagonia, Sundance Books and Music, REI, West Marine, Estella Tacos y Mezcal, Blue Zone Sports, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Gear Hut, Jimmy John's, Day Clocks, Kenji's, Deanna Ackerman Million Dollar Master, Atlantis Casino and Resort. Plus, thank you to the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Help Save the Bees Foundation.


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