By Brian Hill, Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (May 29, 2024) — Fort Leonard Wood’s Youth Catfish Derby is scheduled to take place from 9 a.m. to noon June 8 at the pond at Training Area 228, off FLW 38.

According to John Brant, fisheries biologist with the Directorate of Public Works’ Natural Resources Branch, the free event is open to youth anglers, ages 15 and younger — all participants need to be accompanied by an adult — and registration starts at 8:30 a.m.

Events like this offer opportunities to introduce children to the outdoors and build a “connection” with nature, Brant said.

“A personal connection with the outdoors is important, and catching catfish is a great way to begin that connection,” he said.

As in years past, Brant said the pond has been stocked with 400 additional catfish for the derby, and some of those fish will have a tag that can be turned in for a prize. Loaner equipment will be available as well, on a first come, first served basis.

Additionally, the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation’s Outdoor Adventure Center will once again be on hand to provide hotdogs and drinks, said Nia Dickinson, FMWR’s Marketing manager.

“This is an event our team looks forward to every year,” Dickinson said.

Brant said the goal of the derby is not to make every participant an avid angler.

“But we hope to provide the opportunity for a new outdoor activity,” he said. “I hope people and youth go home thinking (about how much) they enjoyed their time in nature and consider their own future outings.”

Call 573.596.4223 for more information.

Young anglers line the shore during the 2023 Youth Catfish Derby. This year’s event is set to take place from 9 a.m. to noon June 8 at Training Area 228, off FLW 38. Registration for the free event begins at 8:30 a.m. (Photo courtesy of the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation)












About Fort Leonard Wood

Fort Leonard Wood is a thriving and prosperous installation that has evolved from a small basic training post more than 75 years ago to a premier Army Center of Excellence that trains more than 80,000 military and civilians each year.

Fort Leonard Wood is home to the U.S Army Maneuver Support Center of Excellence and three U.S. Army schools: the U.S. Army Engineer School; U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School; and the U.S. Army Military Police School. In addition to training engineer, CBRN and military police specialties for the Army, Fort Leonard Wood also provides gender-integrated in-processing and Basic Combat Training for new Soldiers.

Fort Leonard Wood also hosts and trains with the largest Marine Corps Detachment and Air Force Squadron on any Army installation as well as a large Navy construction detachment.

More information about Fort Leonard Wood is at: