HELENA – Some local kids got the chance to try their hand at fishing Saturday, all for free. The East Helena Council of the Knights of Columbus held a Kids Fishing Day event at Spring Meadow Lake State Park.
Organizers provided equipment, and helped the kids practice skills like tying on hooks, baiting the line and casting.
“Growing up, fishing was kind of a fun thing to do,” said Jim Schweyen, the council’s youth director. “Kids don’t get to do it necessarily so much anymore, so we just give them an opportunity.”
Schweyen said Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks provided a special permit, so all the kids taking part in the event could fish for free. He said FWP also provided some of the poles they used.
One community volunteer, named Joe, provided eight fishing poles he had purchased secondhand and refurbished. The organizers were able to donate those poles to kids who didn’t have their own.
Many of the kids had good luck. Seven-year-old Tegan Murphy caught a trout and a bass in his first two hours on the water. 11-year-old Tyvan Stefanik brought in a bass after several hours of waiting.
“It’s just fun to see the enthusiasm – kids getting to do maybe something they like to do or maybe something brand new and just fun,” Schweyen said.
This was the second year the Knights of Columbus has put on a Kids’ Fishing Day. Organizers say they hope the event will continue to grow in the coming years.