Nearly 155 young anglers and their families gathered June 3 at three Delaware ponds for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police 31st annual Youth Fishing Tournament.

Fish caught in the tournament were weighed and released, as young anglers got a first-hand lesson in conservation.

The New Castle County location, Lums Pond in Bear, drew 82 children and young teens casting lines, while at Kent County’s Akridge Scout Reservation pond near Camden, 26 children participated. Sussex County had 47 young anglers at Ingrams Pond near Millsboro.

When the day was done, 13-year-old Elise Britton, of Middletown, was statewide winner, as well as the New Castle County winner, with fish weighing in at a total of 25.22 pounds, including an 8.6-pound carp, the largest fish caught in this year’s tournament. The smallest fish of the day were caught by: 9-year-old Jonathan Pollock, 0.02-pound bluegill in Lums Pond; and 7-year-old Phoebe Wong of Frederica, 0.026-pound largemouth bass in Akridge Scout Reservation’s pond. Also, William Medford, age 13, of Wilmington, caught a 7.9-pound turtle in Lums Pond.

This year’s county winners and the overall statewide winner will be invited to a trophy presentation by Gov. John Carney on Governor’s Day, July 27, at the 2017 Delaware State Fair in Harrington.

New Castle County winners ages 4 through 7 were: first place, Liesabet Barker, age 4, of Townsend, 2.69 pounds; second place, Mackenzie Healey, age 4, of Middletown, 1.53 pounds; and third place, Landon Gonzalez, age 7, of New Castle, 1.48 pounds.

New Castle County winners ages 8 through 11 were: first place, Jonathan Pollock, age 9, of Middletown, 3.96 pounds; second place, Leland Barker, age 9, of Townsend, 2.66 pounds; third place, Evan Wooters, age 10, of Newark, 2.23 pounds.

New Castle County winners ages 12 through 15 were: first place, Elise Britton, age 13, of Middletown, 25.22 pounds; second place, Kody Edwards, age 15, of Wilmington, 3.36 pounds; third place, Lauren Pollock, age 14, of Middletown, 3.17 pounds.

In the Kent County division, at Akridge Scout Reservation, Dominic Garcia, 12, of Smyrna, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 10.33 pounds of fish.

Kent County winners ages 4 through 7 were: first place, Carly Clevens, age 6, of Wilmington, 3.65 pounds; second place, Brandon Driggins, age 7, of Dover, 2.45 pounds; third place, Cole Smith, age 6, of Magnolia, 1.55 pounds.

Kent County winners ages 8 through 11 were: first place, Christian Driggins, age 10, of Dover, 4.47 pounds; second place, Trevor Wong, age 10, of Frederica, 2.78 pounds; third place, Ava Ruggerio, age 9, of Camden, 2.54 pounds.

Kent County winners ages 12 through 15 were: first place, Seth Reynolds, age 13, of Milford, 6.28 pounds; second place, Peyton Timmons, age 12, of Dover, 5.87 pounds; third place, MJ Greco, age 12, of Dover, 4.42 pounds.

At Ingrams Pond in Sussex County, John Timmons V, age 5, of Georgetown, was the day’s overall winner with a total of 4.19 pounds of fish.

Sussex County winners ages 4 through 7 were: first place, John Timmons V, age 5, of Georgetown, 4.19 pounds; second place, Brayden Stewart, age 4, of Georgetown, 2.21 pounds; third place, Maddison Culey, age 6, of Laurel, 1.58 pounds.

Sussex County winners ages 8 through 11 were: first place, Landon Elliott, age 9, of Millsboro, 2.38 pounds; second place, Camrin Croney, age 11, of Ocean View, 1.74 pounds; third place, Luke Hitchens, age 10, of Dagsboro, 1.39 pounds.

Sussex County winners ages 12 through 15 were: first place, Dillon Polly, age 12, of Laurel, 1.54 pounds; second place, Zachary Vannicola, age 12, of Greenwood, 0.88 pounds; third place, Matthew Stangl, age 14, of Bethel, 0.64 pounds.

The winners received trophies and prizes, and participants received prizes. This year’s donors and supporters included Almars Outboards, Cabela’s, Reynolds Auto Collision and Captain Bones Bait, Tackle & Hunting, Betts Garage and Scotty Lee, New Castle County; Cabela’s, Dover Walmart, Dover Dick’s Sporting Goods, Dover Safeway, Williamsville Country Store and Route 10 Subway, Kent County; and Dewey Beach Lions Club, Jungle Jim’s, Lewes Harbour Marina, Lingo Marine, Short’s Marine, Rick’s Bait & Tackle, Hook ’em & Cook ’em, Millsboro McDonald’s, Old Inlet Bait & Tackle and White Water Mountain, Sussex County.

The Youth Fishing Tournament was established to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. The free tournament, held annually in June, is open to ages 4-15.

For information on the Youth Fishing Tournament, call 739-9913, or visit bit.ly/2smSIfd.