Some of the nearly 75 Eureka Elementary School children squealed as Joe Doucette, conservation educator with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, dropped an earthworm into his mouth.
“If it tastes good to a fish, it must taste good to us, too, right?” he asked while pretending to chew.
The second annual Kids’ Fishing Day at Cold Creek Reservoir on Sept. 26 for Eureka County fourth, fifth and sixth-graders was full of fun and memorable moments like this. The event, hosted by NDOW and sponsored by KG Mining (Bald Mountain) Inc., also had an educational goal.
“NDOW puts on these events to teach our youth about wildlife and the value it has for all citizens of the state of Nevada,” Doucette said. “We feel it is important to help develop good stewards of the land and its resources. Even in rural communities, there are many children who don’t get outdoors away from town to experience things like fishing, hiking, camping and wildlife.”
Children learned about Nevada’s native fish, healthy fish habitat, water quality, fly-tying and aquatic insects from agency and Bald Mountain volunteers. They also got to see the release of about 500 cutbow trout into the reservoir and gained handson experience casting in a practice session and for the real thing.
“We try to do all of this in such a way as to make it fun and entertaining, but they still learn something. It’s amazing what sticks with a child later on in life,” said Doucette, who added that the most memorable part for him is watching the children work together and observing the positive relationships they have with each other and their teachers.
In the about two hours dedicated to fishing, students caught and released about 10 fish including rainbow trout from the shoreline. Several brought their own poles and tackle, while NDOW provided equipment — and plenty of wriggly worms to share.
“They look forward to it all year,” said Lyndon Hatch, special education teacher.
Kinross Bald Mountain provided Coach bus transportation for the nearly 75 children, sack lunches from the Pony Express Deli in Eureka and about 10 volunteers.
Sponsoring events such as Kids’ Fishing Day aligns with Kinross’ commitment to support programs that contribute to the welfare and overall quality of life in the communities where employees live and work.