High school anglers participate in kids clinic

Kids learn about fishing, clean water at Lake Crystal event

LAKE CRYSTAL — Seven-year-old Brody Thorson isn’t brand new to fishing but he’s just started in recent weeks.

“We got some sunfish,” he said about fishing off a dock on Loon Lake in Lake Crystal. “And bullheads and perch,” added his mom, Kim.

The youngster, along with 30 other kids, were in the park on Crystal Lake Saturday morning to get some advanced fishing lessons from high school bass tournament anglers and get an introduction into helping to keep lake water clean.

The first annual event was the idea of Sara Spiering, a Lake Crystal resident who is a member of the Women Anglers of Minnesota.

WAM provided free rod/reel kits and a starting tackle box kits all the kids took home with them. Members of the “Bass Bashers” team — a group of high schoolers from Mankato West and Lake Crystal — teamed up with kids to give them some pointers as they fished off the docks and shoreline at the boat landing. And the Crystal Waters project was on hand to show the kids some nearby rain gardens and talk about keeping pollutants out of the lake.

Spiering said the women anglers group buys hundreds of rod/reel combos each year to give to kids as they spread the joys of fishing to women and kids in the state.

“It’s a great group. They have 500 members and are growing fast,” Spiering said. She’s taken part in several of the all-women tournaments around the state including the first ever all-women ice fishing tournament on Gull Lake last winter.

WAM, which has been around for 40 years, is the longest running women-only fishing organization in the nation.

Gina Cooper of Crystal Waters asked the kids if they’d noticed the blue-painted storm drain inlets on city streets. The outlets are adopted by volunteers and the blue color offers a reminder of where the water and debris going down the inlets ends up….Full Story