Area’s littlest fishermen invited to try their luck

By: 
DEB HILL
News-Argus Managing Editor
Friday, June 1, 2018

Last year’s Kids Fishing Day event brought out a crowd, despite the threat of thunderstorms. 

Photo courtesy of Al Eggers

 

 

Break out those rods and reels and tie on some line – it’s time for the annual Kids Fishing Day at the Frog Ponds.

This year’s event takes place next Saturday, June 9, from 10 a.m. to noon, and it’s free. Staff from Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the Bureau of Land Management, along with volunteers from Trout Unlimited and the Snowy Mountain Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, will be on hand to help kids who’ve never fished or provide guidance to those who have.

“We just want to introduce youngsters to this sport called fishing,” said FWP Region 4 spokesman Bruce Auchly. “We hope maybe they’ll have so much fun they’ll pick up fishing as a life-long habit.”

Auchly, who has participated in Kids Fishing Day every year for 15 or 20 years, said the event is meant to be both fun and educational.

“We have people out there to show the kids how to tie knots, how to cast, some about fish identification and water safety,” he said. “People say, ‘hey, this is neat,’ when they see what we have set up for the event. And it’s a chance to get out and enjoy the out of doors as a family.”

Trout Unlimited’s Mike Chapman said the potential to encourage outdoor recreation and use of public lands is one reason his organization stays involved with the Kids Fishing Day event.

“TU is not a fishing club,” Chapman explained. “We are a conservation organization. In order for someone to want to conserve a place, maybe you get started by fishing.”

Chapman said he worries over whether people from urban areas place any value on wildlands and open space. Some of the conservation money for fisheries comes from a tax on the sale of fishing equipment. If there are fewer people fishing, Chapman pointed out, there are fewer dollars.

“We have to think about these things,” he said. “One way you get people to appreciate these areas is maybe to go down there for a couple of hours one day a year and teach a kid how to fish.” 

In addition to enjoying the frog ponds and maybe catching a fish or two, Auchly said kids have the potential to win prizes, including fishing poles, nets, tackle boxes and hats, all purchased from local sporting good stores.

“You don’t have to catch anything but you must be present to win,” he explained.

Not only is the event free, but participating kids don’t need a fishing license, nor do the adults that accompany them.

“We just hope kids and their families learn something fun they can do for life,” he said.

Anyone wanting to participate in the Lewistown Kids Fishing Day can, although Auchly said the activities are geared for children ages 3-12. Those who attend are encouraged to bring their own tackle.

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