If you’re a trout living in Silver Lake in Dayton, Saturday, April 7, won’t be your day.
That’s when hundreds of kids age 15 and under will descend upon the lake for the 14th annual Kids Fishing Day, hosted by Rockingham County Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
“Our former athletic director, Mr. Bob Michael, had gotten in touch with the Game and Inland Fisheries,” said Denise Dean, administrative assistant in the Rockingham County Parks and Rec Department. “[Game and Inland Fisheries] were saying they had these events where they would come and stock the pond for fishing days. [Bob Michael] wanted something to get kids outside and enjoy some outside time.”
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and anybody 15 and under throughout the state of Virginia can participate. No registration is necessary, but equipment will not be provided. Kids are not required to have a fishing license but must be accompanied by an adult, and adults are only allowed to assist kids in things like casting out the line or reeling it in.
“It’s just an event for kids,” Dean said. “We have a lot of sponsors who participate in this [and] we have door prizes. We have free lunch and everyone gets a little goodie bag to take home. There’s a lot of businesses and individuals in the community who donate to this event.”
Dean explained that Carley Jenkins, an athletic technician with the department, is in her first year of organizing the event and, while details are still being worked out, she’s hoping to add things like giving a prize for the largest fish caught. She also explained that kids can keep what trout they catch, as long as it’s 6 inches or bigger.
If the weather is nice, the parks and rec department expects between 400 and 500 kids to fish in Silver Lake that Saturday. But, as Dean said, an event like this, which is the department’s biggest of the year, is great because it gets kids up and out of the house.
“It’s very important because we like to get kids involved instead of sitting behind a computer all day,” she said. “This is a good way to get them outside and do and learn about some different things. It’s been a good event for us.”