Archive for Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Local kids head to lake for annual fishing clinic

Cooper Edmonds waits for a bite during Friday’s youth fishing clinic.

Cooper Edmonds waits for a bite during Friday’s youth fishing clinic.

June 11, 2013

Last week, more than 30 local youths made their way to Leavenworth State Fishing Lake for a chance to participate in a classic summer tradition.

The Tonganoxie Recreation Commission hosted its annual fishing clinic Friday at the lake’s boat ramp. The one-day clinic, run by the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, gives kids an opportunity to identify themselves with proper safety procedures, rod and reel operation and fish identification.

“This was a nice turnout,” said Richard Sanders, a KDWPT fisheries biologist who helped run the clinic. “There have been some years where, due to other factors, that we might have only had about 20, but we had about three-quarters of the ones that signed up. There were a lot of young kids.”

Sanders and fellow instructor Ian Higgins started the camp by going over fishing safety, then used a board mounted with several native fish to help participants identify various species.

Many kids fished with assistance from their parents, which, according to Sanders, makes for a much smoother operation.

“The good thing about the clinic is we always have lot of adult help,” he said. “That’s what we depend on. One or two guys could not keep up with 30 children who need help, so the parents are the key.”

KDWPT, which is based in Topeka, began putting on fishing clinics in 1996 and has worked in Tonganoxie for at least the last 10 years. The organization has about 100 annual clinics and works with as many as 2,000 kids per year in Leavenworth, Douglas and Shawnee counties.

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