By Barb Lewko
Johnson Lake Resort
The weekend was better suited for ducks, but the 6th annual ‘Kid’s Learn to Fish Days’ took place as planned on June 23 and 24, at Johnson Lake Resort.
Close to 50 plucky children braved the elements (including a thunder storm), and participated in two fun-filled days learning about freshwater fish and fishing. The two instructors from the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, Jessica and Alana, headed up the teaching program, and Mel Schmidt from the North Thompson Fish and Game club also participated, offering his many years of expertise and assistance. Between them, they kept the children entertained and interested in learning such topics as fish habitat and identification, knot tying, rigging a fishing rod, and how to release a fish properly.
At the lunch break, the hungry crew had a barbecue hot dog lunch, after which there was casting practice on the lawn, then the long-awaited casting from the dock, as well as trolling from a rowboat in Little Johnson Lake for the trout. Also included in the day’s events was a tour of the spawning channel, where numerous large trout could be seen swimming in and around the spawning beds.
Unfortunately, the weather was not very co-operative, and there were some very wet fishermen; but the rain didn’t deter them from getting out there on the water!
Although no fish were caught, plenty could be seen swimming in the shallows. Each child went home with their own brand new fishing rod and tackle box, so there will be many more opportunities for this young generation of fishermen to practice their new skills.
This event was free to the participants, and a big thank you goes out to the sponsors who make it happen: the Family Fishing Society who supplied fishing rods and funding support, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC who supplied the instructors, Inmet Mining who supplied fishing rods and tackle boxes, AG Foods who supplied much of the food, Anglers Gift & Tackle who put together the fishing rod and tackle box give-aways, Turkey’s Party Makers for supplying the big (and much needed!) tent canopy, and Johnson Lake Resort for hosting the program and providing the venue.
“Learn to Fish” is a province-wide program designed by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to introduce more children to the wonderful sport of fishing. The FFSBC is a non-profit organization that works in partnership with the provincial government to deliver the provincial fish stocking program as well as conservation fish culture services that support steelhead and sturgeon recovery programs.
Watch for notices next year as Johnson Lake hopes to put on the 7th annual Kids Learn to Fish Program in 2013.