Palmerston North youngsters will be all smiles this weekend (Sunday, November 11) as they have a crack at trout fishing at the Hokowhitu Lagoon – thanks to Fish & Game and members of the Manawatu Freshwater Anglers club.
Wellington Fish & Game will release 1000 good-sized two year-old rainbows, transported in the ‘live trout truck’ from the organisation’s hatchery at Ngongotaha near Rotorua.
About 300 trout will be released directly into the lagoon, while another 700 will be corralled behind a holding net as a children’s ‘fish out’ area.
Children aged from four to 12 will be able to fish for free in this enclosed area between 8.30am and 2pm – with all their fishing gear supplied and expert instruction provided by the Anglers Club members.
A number of the trout will be specially tagged – and anyone catching one will win a spot prize donated by Manawatu Hunting and Fishing (Spot prizes can be claimed at any time).
Children have the option of ‘catch and release’ back into the lagoon, or they can take their fish home to eat. Children will be given help to gut and clean their fish and a variety of recipes will be available on the day.
At the end of the event, the net will be removed and the remaining trout freed – so they can be caught by any local anglers with a current trout fishing licence. Whole season licences are free for children under 12 years-old as of October 1, and cost $24 for under 18’s. Licences will be available on the day for anyone who wants to fish the entire lagoon.
Wellington Fish & Game Fish & Game Officer Steve Pilkington says last year’s Fish Out was hugely successful, thanks to generous donations from a variety of local sponsors, and the work of volunteers including the fishing club members. Fish & Game hopes to turn the Fish Out into an annual event for the chance it gives youngsters to “Have a go!”
The Anglers Club members will be on hand to promote their club as well as providing expert tuition to the children.
Mr Pilkington says it’s hoped a great family day out can be encouraged. It is also an opportunity for children to get outside and enjoy the thrill of sport fishing in a controlled environment. “What we want to do is give the kids the opportunities that were given to us and create memories that will last.”
Wellington Fish & Game and the Manawatu Freshwater Anglers Club would like to thank the main sponsors for their generous support: