TUPELO, Miss. — A children's fishing rodeo went mostly belly-up in northeast Mississippi after a contractor stocked the lake with diseased and dying catfish.

Tupelo Parks & Recreation Director Alex Farned tells The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal that few of the 300 kids who showed up for the Friday fishing competition caught anything.

Farned says a contractor delivered 1,700 catfish Wednesday. He says the fish were packed too tightly in the truck and had a bacterial infection. Fish began floating to the surface of Veterans Park lake on Thursday. Farned says city workers have skimmed out more than 1,000 dead fish and buried them in a pit.

Farned says the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks hired the fish supplier and will help restore the lake's catfish population once the situation stabilizes.