The sun was shining, the water was rippling, there was a lazy breeze floating through the air, and songbirds were serenading the woods. There could not have been a more perfect morning to go fishing. Everyone who attended the Kid’s Fishing Event (KFE) Saturday, June 7 knows exactly what I’m talking about.
Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center (CEWC) and Marben PFA, in Mansfield, held the June KFE. The event was open to kids 15 and younger and lasted from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m., allowing families to come and go as they pleased.
The KFE took place at Clubhouse Lake, which is usually a catch-and-release pond only, but the CEWC staff changed the rules under the circumstances. In this particular pond, there were high populations of bluegill and redear sunfish that were overcrowding the channel catfish. In order to practice proper fisheries management, some of the fish needed to be removed from the lake. Can you think of a more fun management plan than a kid’s fishing event? As a reward, the kids were allowed to take home five fish apiece.
There was fishing gear and bait provided for the kids to borrow, if they did not bring their own. CEWC holds these federally funded programs once a month during the fishing season, March through September.
Jesse Burnett with CEWC oversees the events and said that the goal of the KFEs are to teach aquatic education, outdoor stewardship and safety to the youth.
Whether it was a foot-long catfish or a turtle stealing your bait, everyone seemed to have a good time. There is nothing sweeter than watching a child reel in their first fish and see the excitement on their face. A true angler never forgets the thrill of the tug on the line and the battle between man and fish. Today’s youth need outdoor education, so please, take a kid fishing!
The next KFE at Marben Farm will be July 12 at Clubhouse Lake. The KFEs on Aug. 9 and Sept. 27 will be held at Dove Lake. For more information, contact CEWC at (770) 784-3059.