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FWP "Kids to Fish" Program allows anglers to borrow gear and tackle

 

Courtesy Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Tate Langel, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks summer education technician, inspects some fishing rods at the Havre-Hill County Library.

From Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

A popular Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Region 6 program that allows kids and their friends or families to check out free fishing rods and tackle is in full swing again this year.

In time for summer fishing, FWP staff has restocked and maintained more than 350 fishing rods in most all the 43 different location sites along and near Montana's Hi-Line. The "Kids to Fish" program lets anglers check out fishing rods and reels and use basic tackle, such as hooks, bobbers, and sinkers. Typically, eight rods are at each location, and usually a tackle box is available to borrow/use the available tackle.

Marc Kloker, FWP Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager, runs the program.

"Although it takes quite a bit of time and effort to replace, maintain, and travel around to all the loaner locations, I think it's worth it if it gets someone out fishing who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity," Kloker said.

Tate Langel, a summer education specialist with FWP's Montana WILD, has given Kloker a hand this summer in fixing up and distributing rods.

"Just because someone doesn't have a fishing rod doesn't mean they shouldn't be able to go fishing," Langel said. "And whether it's a cousin in town that wants to go along and needs a rod, or an extra pole is needed for catfishing on the Milk River, we want as many kids as possible to go out and fish and enjoy themselves."

"We had one family who checked out a dozen rods to use at their kid's birthday party," Kloker said. "This equipment is for use for anybody who needs some extra gear."

FWP appreciates all the locations that display a rack of these fishing rods, and they are the reason the program has been so successful.

"The many business owners and organizations who participate in the program deserve special thanks," Kloker added. "They're helping a lot of kids have fun on the water this summer."

The sturdy loaner rods come already rigged with bobbers, split-shot and hooks. Anglers are expected to sign out the equipment at the site and return it in good working order.

Kloker told people that these rods are to be brought back to the loaner location, even if damaged.

"We really want these poles brought back to their location sites," says Kloker. "The next kid that comes along should also have a chance to fish."

If poles are continually lost or stolen, the program will need to make the necessary changes and location sites may be removed. In addition, some sites that haven't seen much use have had their poles removed and taken elsewhere with more opportunities.

More than 350 of these fishing rods are available to be checked out from the outlets by individuals, families, organizations, church groups and schools. If anyone is looking to check out a large number of rods - more than 20 - for a particular event, they are asked to contact either the Glasgow or Havre FWP offices and the offices will get the anglers set up.

People with questions about the program or if who are interested in having poles available at other locations in your community, please contact Kloker at 406-228-3704.

Fishing rods and tackle are available to check out at these locations. Locations can also be found on the Region 6 webpage on http://fwp.mt.gov/.

Big Sandy

• The Grocery Store

Chester

• Liberty Quick Stop

Chinook

• Finley's Food Farm

Fort Belknap Agency

• Kwik Stop

Harlem

• EZ Mart store

Havre area

• FWP Havre Office

• Stromberg's Sinclair

• Hill County Library

• Quality Life Concepts

Loma

• Midway Mercantile - Across from Ma's Loma Cafe

Malta

• Phillips County Library

• Westside Conoco Convenience Store

 

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