Registration open for Eagle Creek Park Kids Fishing Derby

The Eagle Creek Park Foundation is hosting its 13th annual Kids Fishing Derby from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 7 at Eagle Creek Park’s Coffer Dam, located at the first right south of the 71st Street gate on the city’s northwest side.

The family-friendly event is free for children ages 4-14, and takes place in conjunction with one of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources designated free fishing days. This opportunity allows Indiana residents to fish without a license or trout/salmon stamp in public waters.

“We usually see a lot of kids fishing for the very first time,” said Alex Upchurch, Eagle Creek Park Foundation board member and Fishing Derby chairman. “Large youth and church groups are all welcome to come out and enjoy the serene setting, and of course the thrill of the catch!”

Last year, a few sprinkles of rain fell on the derby, but Upchurch says the event carried on and made conditions favorable for fish to bite. “Kids were catching bluegill, crappie, bass and even catfish, just one after another!” he said.

All participants receive a cookout-style lunch and goody bags. Special features include entertainment and prizes by the Pacers Fan Van, and music from 107.9 the Mix. McGruff the Crime Dog will make a special appearance along with park animals from the park’s nature centers.

Live bait is provided. Participants are asked to bring their own fishing equipment, although a limited amount of fishing poles will be available if children cannot supply their own.

All youth must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers will be available to help bait and hook, and demonstrate casting techniques.

Pre-registration is required by Thursday, June 5 at 5 p.m., and space is limited to the first 400 participants. The $5 gate admission fee is waived for pre-registered participants.

Entry forms are available at the Eagle Creek Park office, 7840 W. 56th St., or online at

In the event of severe weather, the derby will be moved to Sunday, June 8.

For more information, call 317.327.7116, or email Alex Upchurch at


The Eagle Creek Park Foundation (ECPF) was established in 1978 as a 501 (c)(3) organization to promote, preserve, protect and enhance Eagle Creek Park, an island of nature surrounded by an urban landscape. The nonprofit thrives on membership and donations to fund park improvements, trail restoration projects and environmental education programs within Eagle Creek Park. Since 2001, the Foundation has invested nearly $3 million into Eagle Creek Park.