FORT RUCKER, Ala. (April 22, 2013) -- Fishing is one of Fort Rucker's more prominent recreational activities, and the installation added to its fishing repertoire with the opening of Parcours Lake as a youth fishing area.

The lake opened with a youth fishing tournament Saturday, during which children were able to participate with their parents to see who was able to reel in the biggest catch, and with a total of 97 participants, the lake had a proper opening, according to Melissa Kelley, outdoor recreation assistant.

"The youth fishing tournament was a great success and each child won a door prize and had a blast," she said.

The winners of the tournament were: Lucas Gangler, who took first place with a total weight of 13.4 pounds; Aliza Allred, who took second place with a total of 11.1 pounds; and Austin Davis, who took third place with a total of 7.1 pounds.

The tournament was held at the lake, located on Farrell Road, from 7-10 a.m., and was only available to children under 15 years of age, according to John Clancy, ODR manager, and although winners were announced, the purpose of the event was not about the competition.

"The main purpose is to have the children and their Families fish and enjoy the outdoors together," said Clancy, a feat that was well received and executed.

"Parcours Lake is an amazing area for Families to take their children to enjoy the joys of fishing," said Janice Erdlitz, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation marketing director. "You can also see abundant wildlife from the shore, especially turtles, and the fish in there are huge."

Throughout the tournament, several people reeled in fish weighing in at more than 10 pounds, according to the marketing director.

Erdlitz said it's important to have areas like Parcours Lake for Families to be able to visit and bond as a unit on Fort Rucker.

"Fishing and other outdoor activities are great ways to bond with your children," she said. "You would be amazed at how many children have never picked up a fishing pole, and to see the amazement in a child's eye the first time they reel in a fish is just magical."

Clancy said that people can catch a variety of different types of fish at the 4-acre lake, such as large-mouth bass, catfish, shell cracker, bream and bluegill.

The lake will be available for children ages 3-15 to fish in starting April 27, and fishing times will run from sun up to sun down. All children under the age of 11 must have adult supervision with them in order to fish, according to Clancy. If parents want to fish with their children, they must obtain or have an Alabama State License and a post fishing permit.

Also, everyone fishing must abide by the Alabama State Law, AR 215-1 regulation that pertains to fishing, and abide by the creel and size limit that is posted at the lake, he added.

"We're really looking forward to next year's event and we just want to thank [everyone] for bringing their children out to enjoy the tournament," said Kelley.

For more information, call 255-4305.