Hooked on catching the big one

 


Hooked on catching the big one

Nikki Carlson

Children crouched around ice holes while jigging their fishing poles to catch perch during an annual ice fishing field trip Tuesday afternoon. They didn't have to wait long to catch a fish. "I got one," echoed across the pond as dozens of perch were pulled up from the frigid water.


Catching the fish is the best part about going fishing, and now students across the Hi-Line will become "hooked on fishing."

Lincoln-McKinley Primary School third-graders in Kim Tommerup and Erin Olson's classrooms reeled in a lot of fish during the 15th Annual Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Hooked on Fishing ice fishing trip Tuesday afternoon.

"They have a blast. They look so forward to this," Tommerup said. "At the beginning of the year, they always ask, 'When is the fishing trip?'"

The warm weather helped make the trip pleasant, however, the weather did play a factor in the location of the trip this year.

The ice fishing trip usually takes place at Beaver Creek Reservoir in Beaver Creek Park. FWP Region 6 Information and Education Program manager Ron Seldon and FWP statewide Angler Education coordinator Dave Hagengruber said two other Lincoln-McKinley third-grade classrooms traveled to Fresno Reservoir Tuesday morning because the recent rainfall left water on top of the ice at Beaver Creek Reservoir.



But those morning classes had difficulty catching fish at Fresno, so FWP fish biologist Cody Nagel of Havre then contacted the town of Kremlin to ask if the ice fishing field trips could move to the pond on the northeast edge of Kremlin. The pond is not open for the public to fish. Rather, Seldon said, FWP stocks thousands of perch in the pond to later distribute to ponds and lakes across the Hi-Line.



"The town of Kremlin opened the gates to let us come in to fish in this pond," Nagel said.

"We're very grateful for them letting us in," Hagengruber said.

It proved to be a good move because Tommerup and Olson's classes caught a lot of fish. Olson was busy shuffling across the ice to get photographs of students with their fish.

"The fishing is exceptional," Olson said. "The kids are catching fish left and right. We've never had a year like this where we've been catching fish like this."

Eight-year-old Jaycee Schlotfeldt caught eight fish on her first ice fishing trip. Her secret — react.

"I just keep looking on the fishing pole, and if it jerks I pull up and reel it in," Schlotfeldt said. "I was looking forward to coming out to ice fish."

Carsyn Vogel, 8, felt like a professional when she reeled in her fourth perch.

"We got in the right spot," she said with a shrug.

Vogel, who fished with her father Max Vogel during the trip, said that she will probably go ice fishing again.

"It's fun," the first-timer said.

Nine-year-old Chief IronBear agreed.

"It's good because you get to catch fish," IronBear said after pulling up his second perch.

Hagengruber said that all of the fish that were caught will be kept on ice for the students to dissect in March.

Parents, FWP, Devon Energy Ambassadors, Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited members Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees and the Bureau of Land Management employees helped the students out on the ice.



This year the Hooked on Fishing program branched out to a few more area schools — Davey, Cottonwood and Bear's Paw students and Rocky Boy fifth-graders. The ice fishing field trip continues today for Lincoln-McKinley and St. Jude Thaddeus third-graders, and Thursday morning for Davey, Cottonwood and Bear's Paw students and Rocky Boy fifth-graders.


All-in-all Mother Nature was cooperative and the fish were biting.

"We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day," Tommerup said.

Children crouched around ice holes while jigging their fishing poles to catch perch during an annual ice fishing field trip Tuesday afternoon. They didn't have to wait long to catch a fish. "I got one," echoed across the pond as dozens of perch were pulled up from the frigid water.

Catching the fish is the best part about going fishing, and now students across the Hi-Line will become "hooked on fishing."

Lincoln-McKinley Primary School third-graders in Kim Tommerup and Erin Olson's classrooms reeled in a lot of fish during the 15th Annual Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Hooked on Fishing ice fishing trip Tuesday afternoon.

"They have a blast. They look so forward to this," Tommerup said. "At the beginning of the year, they always ask, 'When is the fishing trip?'"

The warm weather helped make the trip pleasant, however, the weather did play a factor in the location of the trip this year.

The ice fishing trip usually takes place at Beaver Creek Reservoir in Beaver Creek Park. FWP Region 6 Information and Education Program manager Ron Seldon and FWP statewide Angler Education coordinator Dave Hagengruber said two other Lincoln-McKinley third-grade classrooms traveled to Fresno Reservoir Tuesday morning because the recent rainfall left water on top of the ice at Beaver Creek Reservoir.

But those morning classes had difficulty catching fish at Fresno, so FWP fish biologist Cody Nagel of Havre then contacted the town of Kremlin to ask if the ice fishing field trips could move to the pond on the northeast edge of Kremlin. The pond is not open for the public to fish. Rather, Seldon said, FWP stocks thousands of perch in the pond to later distribute to ponds and lakes across the Hi-Line.

"The town of Kremlin opened the gates to let us come in to fish in this pond," Nagel said.

"We're very grateful for them letting us in," Hagengruber said.

It proved to be a good move because Tommerup and Olson's classes caught a lot of fish. Olson was busy shuffling across the ice to get photographs of students with their fish.

"The fishing is exceptional," Olson said. "The kids are catching fish left and right. We've never had a year like this where we've been catching fish like this."

Eight-year-old Jaycee Schlotfeldt caught eight fish on her first ice fishing trip. Her secret — react.

"I just keep looking on the fishing pole, and if it jerks I pull up and reel it in," Schlotfeldt said. "I was looking forward to coming out to ice fish."

Carsyn Vogel, 8, felt like a professional when she reeled in her fourth perch.

"We got in the right spot," she said with a shrug.

Vogel, who fished with her father Max Vogel during the trip, said that she will probably go ice fishing again.

"It's fun," the first-timer said.

Nine-year-old Chief IronBear agreed.

"It's good because you get to catch fish," IronBear said after pulling up his second perch.

Hagengruber said that all of the fish that were caught will be kept on ice for the students to dissect in March.

Parents, FWP, Devon Energy Ambassadors, Fresno Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited members Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway employees and the Bureau of Land Management employees helped the students out on the ice.

This year the Hooked on Fishing program branched out to a few more area schools — Davey, Cottonwood and Bear's Paw students and Rocky Boy fifth-graders. The ice fishing field trip continues today for Lincoln-McKinley and St. Jude Thaddeus third-graders, and Thursday morning for Davey, Cottonwood and Bear's Paw students and Rocky Boy fifth-graders.

All-in-all Mother Nature was cooperative and the fish were biting.

"We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day," Tommerup said.

 

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