It’s Almost Fishing Derby Time


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The adult anglers are already out on Essex County park ponds and soon the kids will get their chance. The county’s annual fishing derbies for kids 15 and under start next weekend. The derbies, which are free, will be held at six locations and this year’s Verona Park derby will be an evening event.

The first fishing derby will be Saturday, May 1 at Grover Cleveland Park Pond. Registration opens at 8 a.m., the derby begins at 9 and awards will be given out at 11. Subsequent derbies will be May 8 at Branch Brook Park, May 15 at Weequahic Park, June 12 at Monte Irvin Orange Park Pond, and June 19 at Irvington Park Pond.

This year’s derby at Verona Park will take place on Thursday, May 13. Registration begins at 5 p.m., the derby begins at 6 p.m. and awards will be presented at 8 p.m.

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To participate, your child must be accompanied by an adult and bring his or her own fishing pole, bait, bucket and chair. Prizes are awarded in various age categories for catching the first and most fish. For more information, call 973-268-3500, ext. 254. The fishing derbies will be held rain or shine.

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Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano
Virginia Citrano grew up in Verona. She moved away to write and edit for The Wall Street Journal’s European edition, Institutional Investor, Crain’s New York Business and Since returning to Verona, she has volunteered for school, civic and religious groups, served nine years on the Verona Environmental Commission and is now part of Sustainable Verona. She co-founded MyVeronaNJ in 2009. You can reach Virginia at [email protected]


  1. Two local media outlets are reporting that a number of fish died in Grover Cleveland Pond this past week. We e-mailed the Essex County Parks Department about this. Its spokesman says the fishing derbies will proceed as scheduled. “There is no health risk and no problems have been reported in Verona Park Lake.”


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