OLYMPIA -- Young people in the metropolitan Puget Sound area 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 comes to Renton next month.
Kids between the ages of 5 and 14 are invited to join the fun June 3 at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park on Lake Washington, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd. N. in Renton.
The event is being sponsored by the Washington Department of 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 other 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 700 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 Lake Washington 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 Renton Parks and Recreation office at (425) 235-2560.
"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 Kids Klassic event at Lake Washington is sponsored by WDFW, Renton Parks and Recreation, the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation, Washington B.A.S.S., Zebco, Berkley Powerbaits, Gamakatsu, Trout Unlimited, 4H, Kent Bassmasters and the Western Bass Club.