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Reel Time Fishing Northwest

Mark Yuasa covers fishing and outdoors in the Pacific Northwest.

June 13, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Special fishing event July 11 for children with disabilities

Here is a wonderful way to get children with disabilities hooked on fishing during a special event July 11 at Merwin Fish Hatchery east of Woodland.

The Merwin Special Kids Day is expected to draw more than 100 participants and their families, which is sponsored by state Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Power and C.A.S.T for Kids Foundation.

The wheelchair-accessible hatchery waters will be planted with up to 5,000 trout ranging in size from one to four pounds. Volunteers will serve as one-on-one fishing coaches, assisting youngsters throughout the day.

Rods, reels, tackle and T-shirts will be provided for the young fishermen 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 sponsors encourage anyone with a special-needs child to join in the fun.

Preregistration for the event is required by June 30. To sign up a participating child or to volunteer, call toll-free 800-899-4421.

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