Getting kids on the water

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On Tuesday, Aug. 15, the Carver County Parks Department, Water Management Department and Fishing For Life are holding a fishing and canoe event at the Crow River in Watertown.
Madeline Seveland with Water management said this is one of the first events they are having in Watertown. She said the city is perfect because they have the Crow River flowing right through it and the people there are supportive of local events.

“We’ve focused a lot of the broader county, we want to do a lot more with local communities,” Seveland said.

The event combines education through outdoor activities like fishing and canoeing. Tom Goodrich with said growing up outdoors, he realizes how important it is for kids to be outside. He said organized events are the safest way to do that these days.

Goodrich said that’s why he started the organization and why they hold over 60 events a year, including week long camps. Fishing For Life has a special purpose, and is bringing that to this event in Watertown.

“We collect, rebuild and redistribute old rods and reels,” Goodrich said.

He said at least 60 kids will be able to take home fishing rods after the event. Fishing For Life will also be teaching kids how to tie knots, and rig their reels.

“My favorite part is getting them a rod and tackle box,” Goodrich said. “You send them home with that and their imagination runs wild,”

Goodrich said fishing is the perfect outdoor activity for kids. He said this event is especially good for kids because they’ll be fishing right off the dock. The kids can easily catch sunfish, perch and crappie according to Goodrich.
“One or two times of this simple activity – gets them started for life,” he said.

Seveland said getting kids to the water is a huge benefit, and as an organization they want to do more to bring people there. She said in this case, she wants to teach the public about what is in the river.

“One of our goals is to teach people what we can do on the Crow River,” Seveland said. “ We want to take the opportunity to show them what lives in the water.”

She said one thing her department will be doing is “bug tubs”. She said the tubs show kids all the things they don’t see – including bugs that look like they inspired George Lucas for some of his characters.

The event will be full of experts on fur, wildlife, and Aquatic Invasive Species. The Parks Department will be there giving canoe rides. Seveland said it’s a quick ride, but will give kids the feeling of what it’s like to canoe, especially if they haven’t done it before.

Seveland said events work best when you bring in a lot of different organizations. She said it provides more resources and opportunities for education. Goodrich agrees, saying this will be perfect to get kids reestablished and reengaged with nature. He’s excited to get kids started on these activities – like fishing.

“Catching fish is more fun than anything you’d do inside, you never know what coming next,” he said.

The event takes place from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at 300 Lewis Ave N in Watertown. Everyone is welcome to stop by when able.