Dworshak National Fish Hatchery (Hatchery) had its 22nd annual Kid’s Fishing Day on May 12, 2012. The Hatchery partnered with the Nez Perce Tribe and held the event at Tunnel Pond just east of Orofino, ID. Hatchery volunteers and staff, along with local volunteers from the Clearwater Sheriff’s department, the Nez Perce Tribe, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, the Nez Perce National Forest, and the local school district helped bring this year’s event together.
Fishing opened at 8:00 for kids 14 and under. The Hatchery, Nez Perce Tribe, and local vendors provided poles, bait, nets and expertize to assist youth in their day of fishing. Each child was allowed two fish and no kid went home empty handed!
The morning was cool and the fish were hungry so it didn’t take long to reach the 2 fish limit. But there was much more for the children to do besides fish! Volunteers were on hand to help kids make artful fishing flies, create Japanese fish prints, and color origami fish. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) brought out their marco invertebrate collection and gave children insect nets to investigate aquatic life in Tunnel Pond. Nez Perce National Forest (USFS) staff taught kids about local fish and their life cycles. Clearwater County Sheriff deputies brought out their jet skis and taught the kids about water safety. The Nez Perce Tribe put up a teepee and the Ess-kah-po Powwow committee served a delicious breakfast and lunch.
The event had 98 registered kids, up 60% from last year. Staff helped net fish, bait hooks, provide casting lessons, iced caught fish, and provided fish cleaning lessons. It was a wonderful spring day and everyone had a great time.
This event would not have been possible without the commitment from our Hatchery volunteers, the Nez Perce Tribe, the IDFG, the Clearwater County Sheriff Department, the USFS, the Guide Shop, and funding from the LSRCP.
text and photos by Angela Feldmann