Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo donates fish to homeless
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The 74th annual Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo is underway. Scales are open and fish are coming in.
“Right off the bat, as soon as the scales opened at noon, we had an alligator gar come in,” said weighmaster Donnie Armes. “As soon as they came in, we had two stingrays come in. One had a little tail there. The same fisherman had a red snapper with him.
Billed as the largest family friendly fishing rodeo in the world, the yearly event attracts an average of 50,000 people a year.
“The crowds are starting to come in,” said Mississippi Deep Sea Fishing Rodeo president Richard Valdez. “Later on this evening, we will start to get more. A lot of people are working. Tomorrow will be our big day of course with our kids rodeo.”
A lot of fish will be caught during the four-day event, but this year, none will be wasted.
Mississippi State biologists are using fish to collect specimen for research. The rest will be donated to Feed My Sheep, supporting the homeless.
“Donnie and them talked to Feed My Sheep and asked if they would be interested in taking some,” said Valdez. “Because there is so much of it. We don’t want it to go to waste.”
“We had some when we started setting up, they come down and helped us,” Armes added. “We gave them a few things for helping us. They’re part of the community just like the rest of us.”
MDSFR president Richard Valdez called it a win-win for one of the biggest fishing competitions in South Mississippi.
“We’re all good fisherman and sportsmen and we would love for the fish to be used, not just wasted,” said Valdez.
The rodeo is open from noon until 10pm through July 4th. A fireworks show put on by the City of Gulfport is slated for 8:45 Monday night.
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