Roaring River State Park will host its annual spring Kids' Fishing Day from 6:30 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on May 15. Youngsters will have the opportunity to enjoy a free day of fishing and take part in numerous outdoor education classes.
"We are preparing for around 1,500 kids," said Paul Spurgeon, Roaring River Hatchery manager. "Around 5,000 trout, including 25 to 30 lunkers, will be stocked in the kids area throughout the day."
The area from the first hole near the hatchery to the second bridge will be reserved for kids-only fishing. Free daily trout fishing tags will be available to children who are 15 years of age or younger.
"We encourage families to pick up their Kids' Fishing Day tags at the hatchery office anytime on Friday," said Spurgeon. "This will help with some of the parking problems the next day."
In addition to receiving a free trout fishing tag, kids will receive an assortment of free gifts and educational materials, including a Kids' Fishing Day coloring book.
"Families are encouraged to bring their own fishing poles," said Spurgeon. "We will have only a very limited number of poles available for loan. Families are also encouraged to arrive early, but we will stock the stream throughout the day to make sure all children have the opportunity for success."
Prizes will be awarded to the boys and girls who weigh in the biggest fish and biggest stringers during the Kids Fishing Day event.
Children who land their first fish will be encouraged to complete a First Fish application form. Volunteers will be available to help parents complete the form and take photos of youngsters with their first fish.
A free lunch of hotdogs, chips and fountain drinks, provided by Jim Rogers and Roaring River Concessions, will be available at 11 a.m.
In addition to enjoying a free day of fishing, kids and their parents are invited to participate in a variety of outdoor education classes that will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Youngsters who attend at least two classes will have the opportunity to choose from among a variety of prizes and be awarded a free trout fishing tag to be used during their next visit to Roaring River.
Kids who attend more than two classes will be entered into a drawing for an assortment of larger prizes, including rods and reels, bicycles and camping and sports equipment. Large prizes will be awarded during closing ceremonies, which are scheduled to be held at 5 p.m.
Around 1,400 youngsters attended the spring Kids' Fishing Day event at Roaring River last year. The 2009 fall event also attracted over 1,400 kids.