CHIEF LOGAN STATE PARK — There was plenty of fishing, food, fun and fellowship at Saturday’s countywide fish fry organized by the mayors of Chapmanville, Logan and Man.
Nearly 700 people attended the event, which was held in an effort to unify the residents of Logan County. Chapmanville Mayor Jerry Price came up with the idea after the Chapmanville fish fry was moved to Chief Logan Lake. The lake was stocked with 2,200 pounds of catfish that was paid for by grants given to each of the five municipalities by the Logan County Commission.
“I think this has been a great day and we’ve had a great turnout,” Price said. “We’ve got good music, good food and good fellowship. It’s good to see families together. We’ve seen dads fishing with their daughters and sons and mothers fishing with their kids and husbands and wives together. It has also been great to have Logan Mayor Serafino Nolletti and Man Mayor Jim Blevins here with us and to get to fellowship with them. Everybody seems to be very pleased.”
The fish fry began at 8 a.m. and people were already lining the banks of the Chief Logan Lake around 7 a.m. By 3 p.m., there had already been at least 675 people fishing and eating, Price said.
Ronnie Fowler of Big Creek caught several catfish in just a couple hours. At 11 a.m., Fowler had already taken a load of fish to be flayed and had even more on his stringer.
“This is a great thing and I’ve really enjoyed it,” Fowler said. “I’d like to see more events like this for the county. I’ve caught so many fish that I had a hard time pulling the stringer out of the water.”
Richard Ojeda, with the Logan Empowerment Action Development group, said he was pleased with the turnout.
“This is awesome,” Ojeda said. “We need things like this in Logan County.”
West Virginia University Extension Service Agent Jeremy Farley gave rods and reels to kids throughout the day.
Fat Jack’s brought his mobile kitchen to the lake to fry the fish and to supply hot dogs and cake.
Now, Price said, it’s time to go back to the drawing board and see what all can be improved upon to make next year’s fish fry bigger and better.
“I’m sure we’ll make some improvements for next year, but this year’s fish fry looks good,” Price said.
Mayor Blevins said he was pleased to see the county come together as one big family for the event.
“I think it’s great that the residents of the town of Man came out to enjoy this day and to join together with the rest of Logan County,” Blevins said. “We came out to support Jerry because this is a great event. This is a great way to bring everyone together for food, fun and fishing.”
Mayor Nolletti said he was extremely pleased with the fish fry and the amount of people who took part.
“It is so good to see people out in a family atmosphere,” Nolletti said. “Everything has turned out great. Jerry and Sally Stollings did such a great job planning everything. We were just a part of it, but they did the hard work. This is a great thing and we want to see it continue. Next year, we hope to work together again to make it even bigger and even better.”
Newly-elected Logan County Sheriff Sonya Porter also attended the event and was assisting the mayors.
“This is a great event,” Porter said as she ate a catfish sandwich. “I’m so glad to see everyone out and enjoying themselves.”