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Menahga program grows anglers

Menahga fourth graders will receive lessons on fishing in hopes of getting "hooked."

The city of Menahga will once again be the fiscal pass through agent for the Get Hooked on Fishing program.

Julia Kicker, organizer of the program, told the Menahga City Council about the successful program at its meeting.

"I've 17, 18 year olds still out at the pier with the fishing poles they got through this program," she said.

The purpose is "To create other healthy alternatives for our children, rather than the use of drugs and alcohol."

The program has been active in Menahga for 20 years and she has organized it for 10.

In April, students are introduced to the program and speakers give demonstrations. The Wadena County Sheriff's Office brings in the K-9 and deputies discuss drugs and how they can alter a person's life.

The Department of Natural Resources teaches students about boat safety and someone talks about fishing in the area, from the kind of fish that live in the lakes, the best lures and how to bait a hook.

Catch and release is discussed as an option for people who don't eat fish.

The program culminates with a fishing day Saturday, May 21.

Fourth-graders arrive at Stocking Lake and volunteer boat operators take the students out on the lake.

Students receive tackle boxes, life jackets and rods/reels. This year, about 75 students will be participating. The fishing gear is donated from organizations and individuals in the area.

"We've had a few big fish stories over the years," she said.

Kicker believes in the program and it's goal.

"When our children are bored and looking for something to do, I would like to see them find their tackle boxes, their rods and reels, find another friend and head to the lake for a healthy, fun day of fishing," she said of the purpose of the program.

Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561