OLYMPIA -- Young people throughout the South Sound will have an opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of fishing – perhaps for the first time – when this year's Kids Klassic Fishing Series debuts April 15 in Lacey.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are invited to drop a line in Long's Pond and join the fun from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 15 at Woodland Creek Park, 6729 Pacific Ave. S.E.
The event is being sponsored by the Washington Department Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, local businesses and other organizations that want to give young people a taste of outdoor fun. Similar events are planned in five cities throughout the state, each expected to draw as many as 1,000 kids.
Throughout the day, kids can participate in casting contests, fly tying and tackle rigging. Educational sessions also will be given on water safety, fish identification and angler ethics.
For a $5 registration fee, up to 1,000 children will receive their own Zebco rod and reel and Kids Klassic T-shirt. Kids also have the option of bringing their own gear and participating in all the activities at no cost if they want to forgo the rod, reel and T-shirt.
WDFW will stock Long's Pond with trout just prior to the event to improve the kids' chances of success.
Registration is required in advance and can be made through the Lacey Parks and Recreation Department at (360) 491-0857.
"This is a wonderful opportunity for parents to provide their children exposure to the sport of fishing," said Fred Shiosaki, an avid fly fisher and member of the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. "Fishing is a great family activity that can help young people develop an understanding and an appreciation of the outdoors. For generations, anglers have been some of the best stewards of our natural resources, and we want that tradition to continue."
The inaugural Kids Klassic is sponsored by the Washington State B.A.S.S. Federation, City of Lacey, 4-H, Trout Unlimited, Puget Sound Anglers, South Sound Fly Fishers, Zebco, Powerbait, and Gamakatsu.