Kelowna kids have reel good time at Go Fish event

Austin Sturt was one of several kids who caught their first fish at Saturday's Go Fish program kickoff.

Austin Sturt shows off the rainbow trout he caught on Saturday at the Go Fish kickoff event

Austin Sturt had never caught a fish before Saturday.

He had tried several times with his grandfather, Jack McRees, but he was never able to reel one in.

Needless to say, when he felt a bite on his line during Saturday’s Go Fish event, he was excited.

“I saw it in the water, so I started reeling. It was heavier than I thought it would be,” said Sturt.

Sturt and several other kids joined their families at the Go Fish program’s kickoff event on Saturday at the Hall Road pond.

The families were trying to snatch one of 600 rainbow trout that had been stocked in the pond last week.

Caleb Musfelt was another lucky angler.

He reeled in his fish and then proudly ran toward his mom and dad to show them the fruit of his labour.

His sister, Caileagh, got out the measuring tape and then announced, “It’s 30 cm.”

“They were getting a little frustrated because everyone else around them were catching fish,” said Caleb’s mom, Corina.

“They were like, ‘Where’s mine?’ I’m glad that he finally caught one.”

Tara White, a senior fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, has helped out with the Go Fish event for the past five years.

She said that Saturday’s kickoff had an impressive turnout.

“Overall it’s been a great day. There were lots of smiles on kids’ faces and it was not raining like last year,” said White.

She said that she expects there will be a good turnout for the entire 2012 Go Fish campaign, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every weekend through May at the netted area in Shannon Lake and Hall Road pond.

White had her daughter with her on Saturday and said that the program does a great job of introducing children to the sport.

“A lot of the kids who come to these events have never held a fishing rod in their hand before.

“They’re shown how to cast, reel and hold a rod. You can see that smile on their face, especially if they catch a fish. They’re so proud that all their effort has come to fruition.

“It gets families out too; it’s something to do with your kids. And even if you don’t catch any fish, it’s still lots of fun.”

The Go Fish program is put on by the Regional District of the Central Okanagan and volunteers from local fish and game clubs.