"Kids to Fish" Program Loans Gear, Tackle to Area Youth
August 9, 2017
A popular Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 6 program that allows children and their families to check out free fishing rods and tackle is in full swing again this year.
In time for summer fishing, FWP staff has restocked the 44 different location sites across Montana’s Hi-Line. The “Kids to Fish” program lets youngsters check out fishing rods, reels and use basic tackle, such as hooks, bobbers, and sinkers. Typically, eight rods are at each location, and usually a tackle box is available to borrow to and be able to use the available tackle.
Pure Fishing, D & G Sports & Western in Glasgow, Stromberg’s Sinclair and the North 40 Outfitters store in Havre have given FWP substantial discounts that help keep the program sustainable. In addition, The Front Brewing in Great Falls, along with partner Nemont Beverage in Glasgow, were kind enough to donate money to the program.
FWP Region 6 intern Bowden Godfrey, a student at the University of Montana-Western, has been busy maintaining the gear and helping re-supply the sites over the last few months. “Just because someone doesn’t have a fishing rod doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to go fishing,” Godfrey said. “Whether it’s a cousin in town that wants to go along, or just an extra pole is needed for catfishing on the Milk River, we want as many kids as possible to go out and fish.”
“The many business owners and other folks who participate in the program deserve special thanks,” adds Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager Marc Kloker. “They’re helping a lot of kids have fun on the water this summer.”
The sturdy loaner rods come already rigged with bobbers, split-shot and hooks. Youngsters are required to sign out the equipment at the site and return it in good working order. Kloker reminds folks that these rods are to be brought back to the loaner location, even if damaged. “We really want these poles brought back to their location sites,” says Kloker. “The next kid that comes along should also have a chance to fish.”
If poles are continually lost or stolen, the program will need to make the necessary changes and location sites may be removed. In addition, some sites that haven’t seen much use have had their poles removed and taken elsewhere with more opportunities.
More than 400 of these fishing rods are available to be checked out from the outlets by individuals, families, organizations, church groups and schools.
Fishing rods and tackle are currently available to check out at these locations in Valley County:
Downstream (Kiwanis) Campground
Fort Peck Fish Hatchery
Lakeridge Motel & Tackle Shop
Fort Peck Marina
Fort Peck Interpretive Center
Rock Creek Marina
FWP Region 6 headquarters
Ezzie’s West End Conoco
Glasgow Recreation Dept.
Shady Rest RV Park
If you have any questions about the program, or are interested in having poles available at other locations in your community, please contact Kloker at 406-228-3704.