At one point or another doesn’t every child dream of catching a fish? Saturday kids age 12 and under can see what it’s really like at the 22nd annual Free Kid’s Fishing Day at Tunnel Pond outside Orofino.All the gear – fishing poles, reels, tackle and bait – will be provided. People will be there to teach kids how to fish, catch, clean and even prepare their fish for eating by offering recipes. Kids can keep two fish.
“It’s a day to provide kids the chance to go fishing,” says Angela Feldmann, a fishery biologist with U.S Fish and Wildlife Service at the Dworshak Fisheries Complex. “It’s a chance for them to experience the resource, see how fun it is to fish, and hopefully inspire them to want to fish and want to preserve the resource.”
Besides fishing there will be arts and crafts including gyotaku, a Japanese fish printing technique where kids will paint (rubber) fish and press them on paper to create a print. It was traditionally used for identifying fish, Feldmann says.
Tunnel Pond is a Nez Perce tribal pond stocked with rainbow trout. Nez Perce Tribal Fisheries partners with the Dworshak National Fish Hatchery for the event which can draw 200 to 300 people on years with nice weather. Free Fishing Day in Idaho is June 9 but Feldman says the water is warm by then and the fish aren’t as ready to bite as they are this time of year.
The day will include a native fishing display and other educational exhibits. The Ess-kah-po Good Will Powwow committee will sell food. Some handicap parking will be available and the bank is wide enough for wheelchairs, Feldmann says.
Parking for others is by shuttle from the lot next to Gentle Family Dentistry on Riverside Avenue in Orofino. There will be people to help direct traffic. The shuttle to Tunnel Pond is free.
What: Free Kid’s Fishing Day
When: 8-3 p.m. Saturday
Where: Tunnel Pond near Orofino
Of Note: All gear and bait provided.