Cheatham County fishing rodeo needs fish - FOX Carolina 21

Cheatham County fishing rodeo needs fish

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Organizers of a fishing rodeo scheduled for June 8 in Cheatham County are scrambling for donations, after finding out the pond that is normally stocked will have no fish.

For more than 10 years, Steve and Grace Cochran of American Bass Anglers have been helping organize the Cheatham Lake Fish Busting Rodeo.

"Three weeks ago got a call saying we had no fish," said Steve Cochran.

They find sponsors to supply T-shirts, food, rods and reels and other items, but this year, someone got their lines crossed, and it turns out neither the TWRA nor the Army Corps of Engineers planned to stock the pond where the children fish.

"The fish have always been supplied, for the last 10 or 11 years."

Canceling is not an option, Cochran said, not with 240 kids already signed up.

The Army Corps of Engineers told Channel 4 it couldn't find any grant money. TWRA said they thought the event was canceled, so they didn't plan to send any fish here.

"I honestly don't know all the red tape that goes with that," said Grace Cochran, a co-organizer. "I look at it as kind of a government thing, I don't know," she said.

So volunteers like fishing enthusiast Peggy Kuhn started scrambling to raise a fish fund; farm-raised catfish cost about $2 per pound; that's about $1,400 worth of fish.

"We'll go door to door, we'll do whatever we can, but we've got to come up with this money for these kids," Kuhn said.

Less than an hour before Channel 4 was scheduled to interview TWRA, a spokesman called to say this was the first he'd heard about the problem, and that TWRA would contribute $500 for catfish.

That will ease, but not eliminate, the crunch for cash.

The Army Corps of Engineers said they're determined not to let all the last-minute confusion be a factor next year.

Anyone who would like to help contribute to the fish fund can contact Peggy Kuhn at 931-624-4529 or Grace Cochran at 615-708-9443.

For more details about the rodeo, contact Kyle Beverly at the Corps of Engineers at 615-792-5697 or 615-330-2002.

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