OLYMPIA — Five dollars doesn’t buy much these days, but at 12 Washington ponds and lakes this spring it will purchase an introduction to what may become a lifetime love affair with sport fishing.
Kids’ Fish-In events begin Saturday, April 10 at Klineline Pond in Vancouver, WA and will continue throughout the state through June 12. The events are open to youth 5 years to 14 years of age. Registration is required, and events fill up quickly, so it’s important to register as early as possible.
For $5, kids get their own rod and reel, about an hour of fishing, hopefully a fish or two and, perhaps best of all, someone willing to clean the fish for them. Many of the events will also be giving out tee shirts. Because these events are for kids 14 and under, participants do not need a fishing license.
All 12 events, sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, are conducted by the Go Play Outside Alliance of Washington (GoPaw). The annual fishing events will be held this year in Vancouver, Lacey, Kennewick, Spokane, Everett, Yakima, Lakewood, Seattle, Longview, Leavenworth, Moses Lake and Colfax.
A schedule of events and locations is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/kids/events.html. Through that website you can also link to registration forms, instructions and driving directions on GoPaw’s website.
Each event is co-sponsored by a variety of local businesses and civic and sport fishing organizations. Lakes in the youth fishing program are stocked with thousands of catchable-size fish prior to the day of fishing. Klineline Pond, where as many as 1,500 youth are expected to show up on Saturday, will be stocked with approximately 11,000 additional fish, some weighing as much as 10 lbs.
Anglers who fish these waters regularly should know that many of the lakes and ponds will be closed to fishing one or two days prior to the event, while the lake is being stocked, and the day of the event. Klineline Pond will be closed to public fishing on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, reopening on Sunday, April 11.