Despite a bit of precipitation early on, it was another successful Kids Fishing Day.
Sponsored by the North Olympic Peninsula chapter of the Puget Sound Anglers — along with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the City of Sequim — the event brought out about 400 youths and their friends and family members to the Carrie Blake Community Park Reclamation Pond, club vice president Dave Croonquist estimated.
The annual event was postponed in mid-May 2018 after increasingly warm weather killed many fish, with club members shifting their focus to stocking the pond in the fall to allow local youths a chance to fish. The club, however, still had plans to bring the one-day event back at an earlier date for cooler temperatures.
On Saturday the move seemed to pay off, with dozens of youngsters lining the pond and the stand-alone pond for younger participants. A number of youths playing soccer at the adjacent Albert Haller Playfields got in some fishing after their games finished, Croonquist said.
“The tackle table folks were busy checking out rods and reels … (and) the fish cleaning station had steady business all day,” he said. “The Swain’s ‘Willie Wiener Wagon’ was a popular stop for a hot dog and a can of pop. We sold out of hot dogs and pop just before the fishing time ended. We saw lots of smiles all day long.”
Croonquist said the event was made possible with lots of help from WDFW and City of Sequim crew members, plus an individual who donated more than 300 hot dog buns and another who donated 50 containers of worms.
Local anglers also opened the pond to youths with special needs from the Sequim School District on Friday, April 12.
The pond remains open for youths ages 14 and younger through the year, except when the model sailboat club is sailing; the daily limit is two fish, Croonquist noted.
“We’re going to put several hundred more trout in the pond in the next week or so before the water warms up,” he said. “We’re holding some fish back to put in the pond in October or November so kids can fish through the winter. We’re also holding back some fish to grow into ‘jumbos’ for next year.”
Croonquist said the club sees fish for next year’s event — about 3,000 fish — delivered to the Hurd Creek Hatchery in late June.
“They’ll be pushing a pound or more by next April,” he said.