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Local groups want to get youth hooked on fishing
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Forsyth County News

EAST FORSYTH — There’s nothing quite like spending a relaxing day fishing, and this Saturday local volunteers are looking to pass that hobby on to the next generation.

To coincide with National Hunting and Fishing Day, several local and national groups will be holding a kids event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lower Pool Park just below Buford Dam at Lake Lanier. The event is open to any kids 15 and younger who want to learn about the outdoors.

“Nowadays, people are so into computers and electronics, they don’t even go outside anymore,” said Olivia McClure of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “It gives them the experience of going outside and learning how to just participate in the great outdoors.”

All kids attending have to be accompanied by an adult, but fishing experience is not required. Bait and snacks will be provided by volunteers.

“We’ll have people out there to kind of guide them and give them pointers,” McClure said. “Pretty much what we do this for is to promote keeping the kids outdoors with family activities.”

In addition to the DNR, other groups helping put on the event include the Cumming Kiwanis Club, Forsyth-Cumming Optimist Club, Nation Wild Turkey Foundation, Hammond’s Fishing Center and the Upper Chattahoochee Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

The morning of the event, more than 2,500 rainbow trout will be released from the nearby Buford Trout Hatchery.

“[The hatchery] brings a tanker truck and unloads [the] trout by bucket,” said Dale Leonard a board member of the local Optimist Club. “The kids and the family are encouraged to help carry the fish to the river.”

The event will also feature instructional shooting from JAKES Take Aim, a program from the National Wild Turkey Foundation that teaches children younger than 17 target shooting in a safe environment.

“They’ll have the JAKES Take Aim Trailer with instructional shootings for kids, like air rifles, BB guns,” McClure said. “And they’ll have a little safety program and they’ll get a hat and stuff like that with it. It gives kids a chance to learn about gun control safety.”

Volunteers will also hold fly-tying and fly-fishing demonstrations, and help with baiting hooks and getting fish off lines.

Visitors are encouraged to bring life jackets and fishing poles, but the event will have a limited number of loaner poles.

“The Optimist Club has a group of teenagers who put all the rods together, put the hooks on and the bobbers,” Leonard said. “They’ll show you how to bait the hooks.”