VANCOUVER – Children with disabilities will have a chance to reel in some big trout during a special fishing event July 12 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Merwin Fish Hatchery, east of Woodland.
More than 100 young people and their families are expected to turn out for the 16th annual Merwin Special Kids Day, sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), Pacific Power, GoPAW and PacifiCorp Energy.
Sponsors ask that participants be pre-registered by June 30, by calling 1-800-899-4421.
Prior to the event, WDFW will plant the wheelchair-accessible hatchery waters with up to 3,000 trout ranging in size from one to four pounds. Volunteers will then serve as one-on-one fishing coaches, assisting youngsters throughout the day.
Rods, reels, tackle and T-shirts will be provided for the young fishers to use and keep. A free barbecue lunch will be served, followed by fish painting, a casting contest and other activities.
Instituted in 1999, the annual fishing event draws youngsters from the Vancouver School for the Blind, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Emanuel Legacy, Kaiser Kids and Shriners hospitals, but anyone with a special-needs child is invited to join in the fun.