More than 500 pounds of rainbow trout are finding a new home, at least temporarily, in Sunbury's upground reservoirs.

More than 500 pounds of rainbow trout are finding a new home, at least temporarily, in Sunbury's upground reservoirs.

Preparations are under way for the fourth annual fishing derby, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 7 at the upground reservoirs, 241 Otis St. in Sunbury. Participants are asked to bring their own reels and rods to the free event, but bait will be provided. The event also includes free food and a free Mother's Day gift-making project.

Sunbury village administrator Dave Martin said hot dogs, fruit, chips and juice boxes will be provided during the derby, which is paid for by the village parks budget.

He estimated that the total cost is less than $500.

Sunbury Conservation Club donates ball caps, and CT Consultants, the village engineer's consulting company, also makes donations. Martin said prize drawings will be held hourly. Each participating child will fill out a raffle ticket at no charge. In previous years, prizes have included ball caps, toys, and coupons to local ice cream stores.

"We want it to be a family event," he said.

The rainbow trout are provided by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources at no charge to the village. Martin said the trout range in weight from 1.5 to 2 pounds each. The rainbow trout may be kept, but other fish in the reservoir must be released.

"In an effort to increase the fish population, we ask people not to keep what they catch. Rainbow trout are different. They are a fish that does best in colder water. If the reservoir gets too warm over the summer, they could die from the water temperature," Martin said.

Martin said that adults who don't accompany children will be welcome, but will not receive free bait.

Registration forms are in a flier handed out at Big Walnut schools. Forms also are available at the Sunbury Municipal Building, 9 E. Granville St.

"No one will be turned away. Even if a child did not register in advance, they will be able to make a Mother's Day gift and participate in the drawing for the donated items," Martin said.

Martin said attendance at last year's derby was lower than normal because of cold, damp weather. Only about 100 people showed up. This year, if weather is good, he hopes 150 to 200 people will attend.