The Ken Russell Cops and Bobbers Fishing Derby is designed to get kids hooked on fishing! This family-friendly event began in 2006 and is hosted by the Monmouth Police Department. As of 2017, the derby is named after former Fisheries Manager Ken Russell to commemorate his 53 years of service with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, tending to our area's lakes.

The derby is held on a Saturday in May at Citizens Lake, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., for ages 2-15. 

For this event, the north side of Citizens Lake is stocked with channel catfish and hybrid bluegill.

"Every year, we put in one or two albino catfish, and kids get a $25 prize for catching one," said MPD Investigator Jimmy McVey, who coordinates the fishing derby. "Kids can keep what they catch if they want. Some people have never caught, scaled and eaten fresh fish from a pond before."

Food and drinks are available for purchase at the event.

Participants are asked to bring their own fishing pole and bait if possible. (A few spares are available.) Please note: Anyone 16 years of age and older assisting needs to have a valid fishing license. 

Citizens Lake is located on the west edge of Monmouth, at the intersection of Highway 34/67 Bypass and Highway 164.