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Valley's chapter to sponsor 14th annual children's event April 16 on Happy Creek
By Ben Orcuttfirstname.lastname@example.org
FRONT ROYAL -- The Northern Shenandoah Valley chapter of Trout Unlimited will be sponsoring its 14th annual Kid's Trout Fishing Day on April 16.
The event is set from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Happy Creek at Gertrude E. Miller Park, near Bing Crosby Stadium, for children ages 2 to 15. In addition to magic, balloons and face painting at 11 a.m., prizes will be awarded at noon.
The children who participate must fish with minimal assistance from parents or adults, according to a press release.
The event is being held in conjunction with the Warren County Department of Parks and Recreation and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, which will be stocking the creek with trout on April 15.
The event is free and the children don't have to have fishing equipment, according to Ev Zimmer, vice president of the local chapter of Trout Unlimited.
"Oh yeah," Zimmer said Monday. "We have everything they'll need. We've got the bait. They don't need to bring anything unless they prefer to bring their own gear."
Zimmer said holding a fishing day for children is a good way to acquaint them with preserving the environment.
"We think it's important to get the kids interested in it [at an] early time," Zimmer said.
"We're basically a conservation group, and the more the kids learn to appreciate the water sports, the more they'll understand about what pollution can do to a stream, and also they just enjoy it.
"We usually have quite a lot of trout, and so they get some big ones and we'll be giving prizes [for] the largest fish in the various age groups."
The local Trout Unlimited chapter also will sponsor a cleanup day on Happy Creek from 5 p.m. until dark on April 11.
The event is open to the public. Participants should bring gloves and boots, and meet at Happy Creek near Bing Crosby Stadium.
Zimmer said Trout Unlimited has a long tradition of taking care of Happy Creek.
"I believe we've been doing it longer than we've been doing the stocking [for kids fishing]," Zimmer said. "Happy Creek is a kind of a pet project of ours. We're the ones who put in those structures [dams] for about a mile from the stadium down to the trestle. That was a big project, and we also have cleaned up the parking lot after a rain in the past."
For more information on the Kid's Trout Fishing Day, call Zimmer at 636-8882 or Anna Asada at 635-8012. For more information on the Happy Creek cleanup, call Mike Swauger at 636-6016.