Holes drilled in the ice resembling anthills surrounded a shanty city at the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association’s 15th annual Children’s Ice fishing event, Jan. 30, 2011 at Metro Beach Park.
According to event coordinator Mark Tews of the Walleye Association, over 462 children attended this year’s event. Tews said the event first started as an activity for children of association members who wanted activities during the winter months for their children.
Tews explained due to the popularity of the event, they opened it to any child wanting to participate at no cost other than the park entry fee.
“Our program gives kids who would otherwise not have the chance the opportunity to get outdoors and enjoy wintertime activities,” said Tews. Few fish were caught and according to Tews, they ran out of hotdogs.
Parents attending cited rising costs and the tough economy for reasons why they attended this free event.
Matt and Amy Gelso of Flat Rock attended with children, Chase, 8yrs and Gavin 7 yrs. “I caught a fish, and Dad didn’t get any,” said young Chase.
“It’s a good thing they (the Walleye Association) are doing,” said Matt. Gelso said he would bring his children again next year. Outdoor activities have health benefits as well.
According to Winter Feels Good, a public awareness campaign by Snow-Sports Industries America (SIA), outdoor winter activities can help combat childhood obesity by promoting health, fitness and social benefits of snow sports/activities.
“Anything that gets them away from the video games and outdoors, I’m all for it,” said Jim Gregones, 46 of Westland. Gregones brought his 7-year-old daughter Katie for her first experience ice fishing. “I’ll continue to bring her as long as she wants to attend,” said Gregones.
Information on how to donate or participate in next year’s event can be obtained by visiting the Lake St. Clair Walleye Association’s web site at www.lakestclairwalleyeassociation.com.