Friends Host Kids Ice Fishing Event at the Genoa NFH
BY DOUG ALOISI, GENOA NFH
The 2015 Annual Kids Ice Fishing Day held on Saturday, February 7th was great fun in spite of this year's arctic weather blast in the upper Midwest. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's three La-Crosse area fisheries offices again hosted a Kids Ice Fishing event with the help of our Friends Group, the Friends of the Upper Mississippi.
The kids fishing day which had humble beginnings, back when it was held at Goose Island Park just south of La Crosse Wisconsin, is now a highly anticipated winter event. Over 450 people arrived on station to learn more about ice fishing, and have an opportunity to fish for rainbow trout on a stocked pond at Genoa NFH.
Many of the 250 kids ages 5-12 and their parents, had never been ice fishing before, so they were given a short primer on ice fishing techniques and ice safety, which was provided by Eric Leiss, (fish biologist and ice fishing expert from the La Crosse Fish Health Center). Soon after the lesson ended, the kids put their new found knowledge to work, ice fishing for the rest of the morning on Pond 11. And because the trout were so cooperative, many children caught their very first fish through the ice, with some kids going home with a limit of five rainbows.
Our Friends group provided a light lunch to the participants and a warming tent with coffee and cocoa was available, even though it was a warm day for Wisconsin, with highs all the way up to the mid 20's! Many thanks go to our volunteers, the Friends Group, the Genoa NFH staff and staff from the three La-Crosse area fisheries offices, for getting families outside to enjoy all nature has to offer, even in the midst of winter.