WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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March 24, 2003
Contact: Terry Rudnick, (360) 902-2687

Fishing events for kids begin April 12, 2003 in Lacey

OLYMPIA - The first of a dozen fishing opportunities for kids is scheduled for April 12 in Thurston County, when the Lacey Family Fish-In gets under way at Long's Pond.

The Family Fish-In is first in a series of annual Fishing Kids events sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation that will run through mid-June in communities all over the state.

Besides Lacey, Fishing Kids events are slated for lakes and ponds in Vancouver, Seattle, Longview, Kennewick, Spokane, Everett, Yakima, Renton, Lakewood, Chelan and Colfax.

Fishing Kids events are open to children ages 5 to 14. Pre-registration is required, and there is a cap on the number of participants per event because of space and time limitations. For $5, kids receive a Fishing Kids tee-shirt and a Zebco rod-and-reel combo valued at over $20. Tackle manufacturers, retailers, fishing organizations, parks and recreation departments and individual volunteers work together to provide the materials, equipment and energy to make the events work.

No fishing license is required, since kids 14 and under fish for free in Washington state.

"These events provide a great opportunity to introduce fishing to kids, and the parents seem to have a good time, too" said Terry Rudnick, WDFW Youth Sportfishing Coordinator. "Families new to fishing or new to the area can learn a lot from the volunteers and from the free materials we hand out. And, of course, the fishing is usually fast and furious, so the excitement level is high and kids go home with lots of enthusiasm for that next fishing trip."

The kids fish in groups during pre-assigned sessions, each of which runs 30 to 60 minutes. During that time, they are allowed to catch and keep a couple of fat trout, which are cleaned and bagged by volunteers. The fish come from WDFW hatcheries and Sumner-based Troutlodge, Inc. Volunteers are also on hand to help bait hooks, untangle lines, land fish and provide instruction on various fishing skills, from fish identification and knot-tying to angler ethics and water safety.

Families interested in taking part in a Fishing Kids event should contact the local event organizer to ask for a registration form. Event dates, locations and contacts are listed below.

Lacey Long's Pond April 12 Lacey Parks Dept. , 360-491-0857
Vancouver Klineline Pond April 19 WDFW, Vancouver, 360-906-6706
Seattle Green Lake April 26 C.A.S.T. for Kids, 425-251-3214
Longview Lake Sacajawea May 3 WDFW, Vancouver, 360-906-6706
Kennewick Columbia Park Pond May 3 Benton County 4H, 509- 545-3511
Spokane Clear Lake May 10 Spokane Co. 4H, 509-477-2166
Everett Silver Lake May 10 Everett Parks Dept., 425-257-8300
Yakima Sarge Hubbard Pond May 17 Schuyler Productions, 509-697-9188
Renton Lake Washington
(Gene Coulon Park)
June 7 C.A.S.T. for Kids, 425-251-3214
Lakewood American Lake June 7 Pierce Co. Parks, 253-798-4176
Chelan Lake Chelan June 7 Hooked on Toys, 509-663-0740
Colfax Gilchrist Pond June 14 Whitman Co. 4H, 509-397-6290