The unseasonable cold and rainy weather is expected to finally leave the Reno/Sparks area just in time for the Kids Free Fishing Day events being held at Sparks Marina and Idlewild Park Saturday June 11. Sometimes, it’s all about the timing.
“We were starting to get a little worried, but it looks like it’s going to be a perfect day to take the kids out fishing on Saturday,” said Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Regional Outdoor Education Coordinator Chris Vasey. “With Kids Free Fishing Day at Sparks Marina, everything is free. The fishing is free, the food and drinks are free. There will be free ice cream and free face painting. It’s just a nice way to get the family out there fishing together.”
The Sparks Rotary, in cooperation with the Nevada Department of Wildlife, City of Sparks Parks and Recreation, Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, the Reno Rodeo Foundation and the local Safari Club International, is sponsoring the Kids Free Fishing Day at the Sparks Marina from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m.
In addition to every child receiving a free t-shirt and a free fishing pole, the event will also include fun booths along with representatives from the Sparks Fire Department, Sparks Police Department, Sheriff’s Department and the Coast Guard. Thousands of dollars worth of prizes and fishing gear will also be handed out at the event.
“Our goal in doing this community event is to ensure the kids have a good time,” longtime Sparks Rotarian and Event Chair Charlie Arciniega states. “It’s a great time all around for our community,” Arciniega adds. “As Rotarians, we really enjoy seeing the kids’ faces when they drop that line in the water and pull out a fish for the very first time. It makes all the planning and work worth it.”
This event is designed to provide children of all ages the opportunity to participate and be successful in the art of angling in a non-competitive atmosphere. NDOW and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation Department have placed a net in the marina in a special kids section and stocked 4,000 trout in the netted area in an effort to increase the chances of catching fish. For those novice anglers, volunteers will be on hand to help anyone who may need a hand.
Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The event will be on the South Shore of Sparks Marina located at 300 Howard Drive.
A second Free Fishing Day event sponsored by the Reno Host Lions Club in cooperation with NDOW, will take place at Idlewild Park Saturday from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Kids are encouraged to bring their own poles, however 300 poles will be available on a first come first served basis. The event will include a fire engine and crew from the Reno Fire Department, a REMSA ambulance crew, and the Sheriff’s SWAT vehicle and team members, and face painters. Doughnuts, hot chocolate and water will be available at a nominal cost.
Vasey points out that even if you can’t make it out to Sparks Marina or Idlewild Park, Free Fishing Day is not only for these events.
“Remember, Free Fishing Day is statewide. People are allowed to fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. We want people to get out there and check out all the great waters that Nevada has to offer, and maybe if you like what you see, you will think about buying a license for the year or a short term permit.”
An annual fishing license in Nevada costs $29, $13 for a junior (12 – 15 years of age) or a senior (65 years of age or older) fishing license, and $9 for a short term fishing permit.
NDOW is holding several events across the state during Free Fishing Day. You can learn more about these events at the Department of Wildlife’s website at www.ndow.org.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.