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Town to host river event

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By Sally Voth - svoth@nvdaily.com

STRASBURG -- Friends of the North Fork of the Shenandoah River will bring people to its namesake this year for the group's annual meeting.

In its 23rd year, the group has decided to have its meeting and Family River Day on May 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Strasburg Town Park.

In recent years, the group has had its annual meeting at the American Legion Woodstock Post 199, Executive Director Leslie Mitchell-Watson said.

"Obviously, we would like people to join up, but the main idea is to get people in touch with the river and create a connection by getting them down to the river and seeing the fish and other things that are in it, touching it and feeling it, understanding a little bit about what's going on with the pollution," she said.

"We wanted to kind of shake things up this year and take it outside, and give people a chance to experience some river activities."

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will be shocking the river so fish can be easily caught and put in aquariums for attendees to see, Mitchell-Watson said. She said it doesn't harm the fish and is done for yearly fish counts.

Macroinvertebrates, such as crawfish, dragonfly larvae and mayfly larvae -- "creatures on the bottom of the river" -- will be on display, too, Mitchell-Watson said.

"We're going to have somebody demonstrating fly fishing techniques and teaching that a little bit, and displays about composting and rain barrels," she added.

Boy Scout Troop 88 will provide food on a free-will basis -- the money will go toward their tent fund -- according to Mitchell-Watson.

Additionally, kayak raffle tickets will also be sold for $10.

Although people are welcome to simply show up on May 15, Mitchell-Watson encourages them to sign up online first at www.fnfsr.org, so there is an idea of how much food will be needed.

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