Approximately 13,000 hunting and fishing enthusiasts converged on the grounds of Army Corps of Engineers property of what now is the beautiful Stonewall Jackson Lake State Park for the 18th annual National Hunting and Fishing Days Celebrations, September 27-28.
The two-day event was designed to teach participants about the outdoors through responsible hunting and fishing practices and techniques.
The event was sponsored by the West Virginia Wildlife Federation and the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources in partnership with the Corps since its inception.
The events offered 3-D archery competition, outdoor youth challenge, wildlife painting for kids, raptor seminars, fly fishing and filleting demonstrations, deer field dressing and game skinning demo, live fish displays, and educational exhibits and much more.
Additionally, Bobber the Water Safety Dog made numerous appearances and posted with everyone who wanted a picture. This year water safety programming was at record high numbers. Presenters conducted 102 water safety programs to more than 750 participants, marking the highest recorded number since the Corps starting the event in 2007. The event offered an opportunity for the Pittsburgh and Huntington districts to partner as a team to serve the public.
This year marks the fifteenth year the two districts have partnered for the event. The group teamed up to staffed the display exhibit, information area, and provide a water safety programming station that included the patrol boat used as a backdrop throughout the two-day event.
Stonewall team members were Christina Fox, student ranger; Carly Heatherly, a resource manager; Jeff Toler, a Stonewall volunteer; Doug Dinkelo; and Kit Tressler, a maintenance mechanic, who photographed the event. Representing Burnsville was Ranger Ben Coulter and Burnsville volunteer, Peggy Dawson.
Did you know? Stonewall and Burnsville property is actually connected thanks to a 10-mile hiking trail that was the historic nineteenth-century Weston & Gauley Bridge Turnpike. The land was purchased by the Corps during constructions of the dam to ensure the trail’s history would be preserved.
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