A fishy Fountain Lake

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 12, 2006

Story and photos , by Adam Hammer, staff writer

It may have been cold and raining Saturday morning, but the fish were biting and children were smiling during the 15th annual Take a Kid Fishing Day at Edgewater Park.

&8220;It’s chilly, just like last year, but we’ll deal with it,&8221; Brian Nielsen said. &8220;Nothing’s ever perfect. Right, Lillie?&8221;

Nielsen brought his children Lillie and Noah to the event. Lillie said she was having fun catching fish from shore.

Many of the children were reeling in pan fish, most weighing less than a pound. But 8-year-old Ethan Meier of Stewartville had to have his dad, Leroy, help him reel in a 3.73-pound carp.

&8220;It’s the biggest fish I ever caught,&8221; Ethan said.

Some attendees, such as Meier, chose to enter their fish in the Sportsmen’s Club’s fishing contest. Winners of the contest received lifejackets and plaques. Others at the event were just fishing for fun.

Cindy Haugen and her 8-year-old-son Ben were practicing for their upcoming camping trip to the North Shore, they said.

There were more than 400 fishing lines in the water during the annual event at Edgewater Bay with patient littleboys and girls gripping the rods on the other ends waiting for the fish to bite. With adults included, there were about 2,000 in attendance.

About 350 rods and reels were given as gifts from the Fountain Lake Sportsmen’s Club to the children.

&8220;This event shows people who donate that their cash really goes to help kids out,&8221; Mark Hovland, Sportsmen’s Club president, said. &8220;Other than the weather, it’s been a really good time.&8221;

The Sportsmen’s Club’s Take a Kid Fishing Day is part of the state Department of Natural Resources’ Take a Kid Fishing Weekend. Children around Minnesota took to the lakes and streams with their parents, uncles, aunts friends and other mentors.