Reel Lines, Number 30, July 2011 Page: 3
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Left: These Brownsville
families helped achieve
an attendance record
for Kid Fish.
Right: Junior Munoz,
ranger at Resaca
de la Palma State Park,
loves fishing, kids
Angler Education Volunteers
Help Break Guinness World Record
DR. REYNALDO RAMIREZ - Angler Education Area Chief (South Texas)
Angler Education volunteers helped to set the new world record for the largest "Kid Fish"
tournament on Saturday, May 21. The new world record set at the Las Huellas Kid Fish Tourna-
ment brought in 2,206 youth anglers from around the Brownsville, Texas area. The event was a
culmination of the combined efforts of city, county and state officials, police, fire department and
the Las Huellas conservation organization.
"Las Huellas is Spanish for 'The Tracks'-wildlife tracks," says David
Mendez, event organizer. "The Las Huellas organization serves as an
advocate for the benefit of South Texas wildlife and for the rights of
South Texas wildlife managers, landowners and sportsmen in educa-
tional and wildlife habitat-related arenas."
Among the hundreds of volunteers was a group of Texas Parks and
Wildlife Angler Education volunteers including Dr. Greg Garcia, Emilio
Barrientos, Erik Machado, Hector Contreras, Jose Fraire and several
others. The volunteers assisted by parking cars, passing out equipment,
registering participants, and verifying that kids were actually fishing.
Nearly 900 rod and reel combos were donated to participating children.
Junior Munoz, lead maintenance ranger at Resaca de la Palma
State Park, who loves fishing, kids and teaching, also volunteered at
The previous record was held by Deportivo de Pesca Manzanillo, AC
(Mexico) and it attracted a mix of 769 children and adults. The Browns-
ville kid fish tournament was truly an event that brought out the best in
getting children out of doors. Parents and children lined the resaca (ox-
bow lake) near the Brownsville Event Center near Paredes Line Road.
David Mendez, the chief organizer and Las Huellas treasurer, believes
that it was the combined efforts of volunteers and officials at all levels
that made the event such a successful venture. He is currently planning
another event for next year and has already attracted funding to
support another ambitious kids fish tournament.
Guinness adjudicator Johanna Hessling was on hand to make certain
that the count was verified and accurate. Volunteers were given a
stretch of bank to assist children and eventually count those that were
fishing at a specified time. Of course, the volunteers spent time untan-
gling lines and offering advice to both children and their parents.
Hessling commented about how serious the children were about fish-
ing. Out of the thousands fishing, only a handful were disqualified for
not having their lines in the water.
A half-mile stretch of the resaca was sealed at each end by netting to
keep the 2,000 pounds of catfish contained for the children to fish. Not
only did the event break the record, but four-year-old Maryhan Saleh
landed a 271/2 inch catfish to take first place. She was one of several
winners in one of three age categories: 6 and under, 7 to 11, and 12 to
16 (some of which appeared to be smaller than the fish they caught!).
David hopes that next year he can convince fishery and other conserva-
tion organizations to deliver 3,000 to 4,000 pounds of catfish for the
children. When it happens again, Texas Parks and Wildlife Angler Educa-
tion volunteers will be there to offer their support.
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Texas. Parks and Wildlife Department. Angler Education Program. Reel Lines, Number 30, July 2011, periodical, July 2011; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth326695/m1/3/: accessed November 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.