Hooked on fishing!

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Fun for the whole family was part of the sixth annual Kids Can Catch Ice Fishing Fun Day on Feb. 18 in Joussard on Lesser Slave Lake.
Lesser Slave Watershed Council (LSWC) and the Joussard Community Association (JCA) co-hosted the event in partnership with Big Lakes County Family and Community Support Services, the Alberta Conservation Association and the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society.
“The weather was on our side and we had more than 130 people come out and celebrate the Family Day weekend, which is also Free Fishing Weekend in Alberta,” says Kate Lovsin, watershed co-ordinator.
A special prize was awarded to the person who caught the biggest walleye. Peighton Nygaard won a free night’s stay in an ice shack donated by Pinto Ice Shack Rentals for catching the biggest walleye of the day – measuring 47 cm.
Competition was tight, Lovsin says.
The day started with a free pancake breakfast hosted by FCSS.
“We are grateful for our friends at the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society that brought their fur kit, and ice fishing game and a sensory activity which had people feel items and they had to try to guess what they were,” Lovsin says.
“We had another fur kit from our board member and outdoor conservation enthusiast Keith Denoncourt.”
The LSWC also set up a station where people could connect the dots between the fish species in the lake and the different regulations for catching them.
Another station allowed people to draw and colour their own watershed.
“For those who needed hints, we had our Watershed Wise magnet board set up, too,” Lovsin says.
“And to top it all off, people could take pictures at a photo booth station with fishing props and a giant stuffed fish.”
Before going on the ice, Tammy Kaleta gave a presentation on proper fish handling and showed people how to fish.
People were able to borrow fishing equipment from the LSWC and try ice fishing while experts helped new anglers with a tips and tricks of the trade, Lovsin says.
After fishing, everyone went back to the hall for door prize draws and a chili supper hosted by the LSWC, followed by fireworks by the JCA.
Organizers express a special thank-you to all the volunteers, especially Ian Willier and Big Lakes County volunteer firefighters who came out to support the event.
“Without the support of local organizations and firefighters, events like this would not be possible,” Lovsin says.
“Thank you to our many event sponsors and partners.”

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