10th Annual Kids Fishing Day at Genoa NFH A Lunker of Success
Genoa National Fish Hatchery hosted 250 kids and parents for the 10th Annual Kids Fishing Day Event, May 18. The event was co-sponsored by the La Crosse area offices of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Friends of the Upper Mississippi.
The kids, ranging in ages from 6-12 years old, began their day by rotating through each of the four learning stations to help add a wealth of fishing knowledge to the mix before they dropped a line with a shot at catching one of the 2,500 rainbow trout from the hatchery pond, where they would find fish sizes ranging from 10- to 14-inches.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Regional Director Tom Melius attended the event and noted, “There’s really nothing that matches the joy of seeing the smiles and excitement of these young kids, some of whom might be catching their first fish at this event. Today’s event was no exception and hopefully many have now added that positive lifelong memory of fishing and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors we work so hard to conserve, enhance and protect.”
In addition to the main event, trying to land a lunker, those attending learned useful skills from the many volunteers staffing the learning stations. The learning stations included discussion of fishing ethics and conservation, fish behavior and habitats, lure and jig tying, and the popular fish anatomy station where they could see how fish are carved into the fillets they can cook and eat.
Hatchery Manager Doug Aloisi, said, “This 10th Annual Fishing Day Event was yet another success thanks to the volunteers and staff who help make it happen. They included the Friends of the Upper Mississippi, the La Crosse Fish Health Center, La Crosse National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office and Genoa National Fish Hatchery.”
The La Crosse Fish Health Center was founded in 1962, and serves the entire Midwest Region, providing fish health screening and wild fish health surveys on selected wild fish populations.
The La Crosse National Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office, founded in 1995, conserves, enhances and protects aquatic ecosystems in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. The office also helps natural resource managers from state, tribal, and federal agencies, as well as concerned citizens involved in achieving that mission.
The Genoa National Fish Hatchery has been in existence since 1932 with the creation of the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge. Its mission is working with partners to restore and maintain fish and other aquatic resources for the benefit of the American public.