Let’s Go Fishing makes it happen for young people too

Willmar fourth-grader Ridwan Madey holds up her first fish. Let’s Go Fishing volunteer Paula Ziems helped introduce her to fishing.

SPICER — We can wring our hands and worry about all the time young people tie their hands to electronic devices.

Or, we can do what the Willmar chapter of Let’s Go Fishing did on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Let’s Go Fishing chapter launched its 2014 season in a big way by hosting 350 fourth-graders from the Willmar and Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa schools on Green Lake in Spicer.

Roger Benson, starting his ninth year with the Willmar chapter, had lined up five pontoons and the services of more than one dozen volunteers to join the students, their teachers and other adult helpers on the water.

On shore at Saulsbury Park in Spicer, staff with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fisheries office devoted both days to offering programs on aquatic habitat for the students.

Let’s Go Fishing focuses on seniors by hosting them on fishing and boating excursions, but it also serves youths and others when possible.

The Willmar chapter hosted 350 fourth-graders on Green Lake on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Let’s Go Fishing founder and president Joe Holm is among those with concerns about the many hours young people spend occupied with electronics today. He is eager to expand the opportunities for youth to discover the outdoors.

“It becomes more important now than ever before to keep our young people active, outdoors (in) a healthy environment,’’ said Holm.

It’s hard to imagine a better way than a Let’s Go Fishing outing. The students made no secret of their excitement at the opportunity to catch fish and be on the water. For many of the fourth-graders, this was the first time they ever caught a fish.

For some adults, this was their first-time ever volunteering for Let’s Go Fishing. Paula Ziems, Grove City, was one of them. Ziems said she loves to fish, and knew she would enjoy helping others fish.

Ziems said her grandfather taught her how to fish. It provides her with much enjoyment. It’s a gift she helped pass on to another generation thanks to Let’s Go Fishing.

 

Roger Benson chats with Willmar fourth-grade instructor Donna Hedlof as Clarence Theessen guides them and 10 students to the fish.

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