Another Year. Another Derby!
The 33rd annual fishing derby took place in Port Matilda April 29th. It's for kids under the age of 15. Lots of prizes were awarded with some being raffled off. And of course the Stick, once again, proved to be very popular.
There were literally some massive trout pulled out of a stretch of Bald Eagle Creek stocked especially for the event. I saw one that weighed 6 pounds and measured 23 inches! And that was not the largest. As the pictures show, the turn-out was excellent even though recent rain storms painted the water dark tan.
It was great to see kids away from their mobile devices to learn a little about how much fun fishing can be. But enjoying the out-of-doors means that we all need to be extra cautious. Lyme disease has reached plague proportions in Pennsylvania with Huntingdon County being the worse.
Becoming infected with a deer tick can lead to nerve paralysis, arthritis, severe headaches, heart palpitations, fever, exhaustion, seizures, depression, and loss of the use of facial muscles. The sign that you may have lyme is often a red bulls-eye shaped rash but as many as 50% never get that tell-tale marker, especially those who are infected with a new strain of tick recently discovered in the Upper Midwest of the US, specifically Minnesota and Wisconsin. Beyond this newly identified strain, there is yet another mutation of the disease. In Maine, a woman died when she contracted the fairly rare Powassan virus from a tick. This strain of lyme disease was named after the town of Powassan, Ontario Canada where it was discovered in a boy who later died. Currently, there are no vaccines or medications available to treat or prevent the virus.
The reality is that it's often difficult to diagnosis lyme. About 300,000 people are infected every year and many have lingering health issues for the rest of their lives. Quick diagnosis and treatment is essential. Deer ticks are about the size of a sesame seed but baby ticks are even smaller. Generally, it takes about 24 hours or more for a typical deer tick to work its way into you.
Be careful while you're enjoying fishing, hunting, or even gardening! There is lots of information online about how to prevent lyme. Might be a good idea to read what the CDC has to say. Personally, I fear deer ticks more than poisoned snakes. Stay safe!