Our Fishing Kids program — getting more kids fishing, more often — had five events this year, all in Washington state: Green Lake, American Lake, Lake Washington, Island Lake and the Poulsbo Marina. All held in May & June, we took a total of 1290 kids fishing with the amazing support of over 150 volunteers! We wanted to share about the three biggest events:
Coordinated by the Green Lake Chamber of Commerce, led by President Brad Cooper, the event was held in front of the Bathhouse Theater on May 14th. The rods were assembled this year by Sue Daniels’ special education students in preparation for the 300 pre-registered kids, who would be fishing in 5 sessions. Over 35 volunteers gathered that morning to set up, while the Seattle Harbor Patrol prepared to give a water safety course to each group of kids and parents. The day began with overcast skies which in later sessions turned to rain, and as true Washingtonians, the kids and parents fished right through the rain, in their boots and rain ponchos, still catching great memories.
With the lake closed to fishing, we were grateful to recieve a special rule from the WDFW that allowed us to continue to hold our event this year. We began with 600 rods fully assembled and registration nearly full. With the great weather, almost everyone showed up to fish, and we were able to get lots of walk-ups registered that day. The Coast Guard Auxiliary, Mercer Island PD, and the Renton Fire Water Safety Team worked together to give a water safety talk to each group before they were handed a Zebco rod/reel to use and keep after the event. Several fishing clubs, CBP, and individuals were along the shore to teach the kids (and their parents) how to bait their hooks, how to set the hook, and how to catch (for some) their first fish! Each kid was able to catch up to 2 fish, which they brought over to the cleaning station staffed by Dick’s. We also had the firefighters and City of Renton lifeguards on hand for safety. All in all the day was perfect, as 593 kids caught fish, with the help of more than 70 volunteers.
A special addition to this year’s event – the Renton Fire Water Safety Team’s Tom Sowards got in the water with his GoPro camera and shot footage of the event from both above and below the water. Check out his video and see the live action!
Hosted on a sandy beach shoreline, the group prepared for 300 kids to come fishing that day. The strong local committee has many members that truly work together to make this event a great experience for the kids. As each group of kids checked in they were handed their t-shirt and goody bag before heading down to hear a water safety talk and pick up their Zebco rod/reel. The day began with beautiful weather and many fish were caught, including a few big ones! In our 2nd to last session, the thunderstorms hit and dumped hail on us, with the lightening not far away – thus we quickly cleared the beach for everyone’s safety and decided to wait out the storm. Another storm cell was on its way, so we decided to cancel the last session for everyone’s safety. Despite the extreme change in weather, we still had 252 kids catch fish and look forward to next year’s event to give the opportunity to another group of kids the chance to catch their first fish!
Please check out each event to see the full list of sponsors – the folks that made it financially possible to hold these events. You can also check out event photos! Here is a link to each event page: