Youth anglers go to camp

Joe Mellenbruch Journal Reporter
A local foursome prepare for an afternoon of fishing as their boat is being launched.

Last week, youth anglers traveled from all over the region to perhaps the state's most plentiful lake for a lesson in fishing at the Learn for Life fishing camp in Devils Lake.

Organized by the North Dakota Game and Fish Department and the Devils Lake Park Board, campers gathered for a five-day fishing excursion at the Lakewood Park Bible Camp, where they spent their time both on the water and in the classroom.

Most days, the group of 56 children was split in two: one would spend time fishing while the other was instructed on a variety of topics regarding fishing and aquatic life.

Camp director Rhonda Ferguson believes the program was beneficial for all those who attended. She claims that fishing can be a beneficial and valuable part of a young person's life, especially those living in North Dakota, and that the camp sought to foster that interest in the minds of its young attendants.

"Our goal is to work with people who are interested in fishing so that they can learn each and every aspect of the sport," Ferguson said, "and it starts with the kids.

According to Ferguson, a majority of this camp's activities would not have been possible without the help of local volunteers, both in the class sessions and out on the water.

Volunteers ranged from Game and Fish representatives teaching classes to local fishermen who agreed to take kids out in their boats. Ferguson said she made it clear to the campers that these men and women were not being paid for their efforts and that they were helping out because they enjoy volunteering their time.

"I think the kids appreciate that," Ferguson said.

Over the five days, kids learned about fish identification, fish handling, rules and regulations, ethics and fishing strategies. Class sessions also included sessions on fish stocking and prevention of aquatic nuisance.

---

Be sure to follow Joe on Twitter @ Journal_Joe or send him an email: jmellenbruch@devilslakejournal.com.