By Alexander Shedd
After skipping 2020 and adding COVID-19 restrictions to the event in 2021, Salem’s annual Ernest “Pig” Robertson Fishing Rodeo has returned in its full original format. The event, which this year celebrates its 70th anniversary at Lake Spring Park on the corner of Main Street and Green, began with a competition for children ages 3-8 on Saturday, April 30 and was followed by a competition for special needs children on Monday and an event for nursing home residents on Wednesday. The Fishing Rodeo will conclude with a final event from 9-11 a.m. on Saturday, May 7 for children ages 9-12.
Last Saturday’s opening competition saw light rain throughout much of the day, but the park was still impressively full, with children and families reeling in the abundant fish in the park’s small pond. “It’s been a really good turnout this year. We’re glad that we could get some fishing in before the rain started,” said Ashley Durkin of the Salem Parks and Recreation Department on Saturday. “We got rid of all our trophies, and the kids seem to be having a really good time.”
Organized by Salem Parks and Recreation and sponsored by the Salem Kiwanis Club and Re/Max Real Estate One, the Fishing Rodeo has been a major success so far, with more than 300 children showing up for the perfect weather conditions at the special needs children’s event on Monday. Prizes are also donated by local Salem businesses.
Admission is free for the final event on May 7, and prizes will continue to be awarded to children throughout the day, with the top angler taking home a special trophy at the end of the event.