The 2006 Goose Creek Youth Fishing Event was held May 6 with more than 300 area youth venturing out to enjoy a day of fishing.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) along with the city of Goose Creek hosted the event at the Goose Creek Municipal Complex. The lake was stocked with more than 3,900 pounds of channel catfish. Youth anglers were provided with bait and tackle that helped them catch species including channel catfish, shellcrackers, bluegill, largemouth bass and eel. The Goose Creek fishing event is one in a series of youth fishing events statewide that promote hunting and fishing to area youth.
Some youth fishing events are part of the national “Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs” program. The program combines all the basics of safe and ethical angling with long-term mentoring and positive life skills along with conservation education. For additional information and to check dates of future youth fishing rodeos, visit the DNR Web site at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/rodeos/.
Sam Chappelear, DNR regional wildlife biologist based in Charleston, said, “We need to expose today’s youth to as many outdoor related activities as possible. Nowadays, children have a wide variety of activities to choose from and many kids do not regularly experience activities such as hunting and fishing.”
Educational exhibits onsite supporting the youth fishing day included SC Reel Kids, Take One Make One, DNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Resources divisions, Archery in the schools program, and Just Say No to Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Children also had the opportunity to learn first-hand from biologists and volunteers the fundamentals of fishing. Demonstrations were provided that taught kids the basics: fish biology, casting, rigging hooks and sinkers, and cleaning fish.
Prizes were awarded to all kids and included rod and reel combinations, tackle boxes, hats, T-shirts, and fishing lures. According to Chappelear, “The rodeo was a big success. The excitement on the faces of the kids who caught their first fish was indescribable.”
The following groups and organizations helped sponsor and support the Goose Creek Youth Fishing Rodeo: Goose Creek Rotary Club, Goose Creek City Council, Goose Creek Mayor Michael J. Heitzler, City of Goose Creek, City Administrator Dennis Harmon, Berkeley County Legislative Delegation, Alcoa, Heritage Trust Federal Credit Union, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Myrtle Beach Bass Pro Shop, Santee Cooper, Handy Stop, Home Telephone, Berkeley Electric Cooperation, Berkeley Soil & Water Conservation District, Southcoast Community Bank, Thomas M. Evans, Wal-Mart, Dial-Murray Funeral Home, Central True Value, Wonder Works, Moncks Corner Video, Farmers and Merchants Bank, and Santee Bait Distributors Inc.