The Department of Natural Resources Big Spring Trout Hatchery near Elkader is offering kids a chance to learn to fish in an experimental program. Gary Seigwarth of the hatchery says the idea came about after brown trout started reproducing naturally and no longer required stocking.
He says they had some extra ponds and so they decided to turn one into a fishing pond for kids. Seigwarth says the pond is easier to get to and fishing in the pond is easier than fishing in a river. One of the goals is to introduce kids to fishing.
Seigwarth says another part of the program is to get kids outside for some form of outdoor recreation to connect with the outdoors. He says his own kids sometimes have to be kicked outdoors because of all the "electronic options" they have to play with inside. The special pond is stocked with catchable size trout.
The pond is for kids 12 and under, and they need to have an adult with a trout stamp, or the child can get a trout stamp and keep two trout of their own. Seigwarth says the new pond has gotten good reviews. "It’s been amazing, " Seigworth says, "a lot of kids coming and it’s fun to watch them jumping up and down, the excitement of watching them with maybe the first kid they ever caught. It’s been a lot of fun."
For further information contact Big Spring Hatchery at 563-245-2446.