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Fishing and Outdoors in WNY: Free kids fishing events this month

Fri, Jun 7th 2024 11:00 am

By Capt. Frank Campbell

Destination Niagara USA Director of Outdoor Promotions

As I watched the young man ride his bicycle past me down Hyde Park Boulevard, I could not help but notice a few things. First, he was riding with determination and speed; and second, he had a fishing pole strapped to the bike, but also a tackle box clutched in his hand. The tackle box stood out as I knew it very well – it was given away by the Niagara River Anglers Association at their fishing derby held the previous weekend.

I was very happy to see the youngster was heading back to Hyde Park Lake to enjoy another fine day catching fish and being outdoors. Although it was many years ago, I still remember that day like it was yesterday. I was proud to have been part of the event and the organization that offered the tools to possibly send a kid down the road of fishing as a lifelong passion.

In thinking back, I also started at Hyde Park Lake and remember looking forward to the annual kids fishing event, which was held every year on the first Saturday in June. There was nothing like getting up super-early to get your spot and rush your fish to the scales at the old train station. Everyone won something, and I recall a scale won at one event and used it for many years to come.

The good old days indeed.

It just so happens that there are a few organizations that still offer these free kids fishing events throughout Niagara County, and several are being held in the month of June. Thanks to these organizations for giving back to the fishing community through their events.

Most of the events are geared toward children under 16 years of age and do not require a fishing license. Some even offer equipment to use and a helping hand for the kids or adults who are first timers. Lunch is also offered as part of the day’s festivities.

The following are just a few of the great events being offered.

•Pendleton Lion’s Club kids fishing derby – 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 8, at West Canal Marine Park. No cost, and includes lunch and prizes.

•Northern Niagara County Kiwanis – 9-11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, at Wilson Tuscarora State Park. For children kindergarten to eighth grade. No cost to enter. Please contact [email protected] for more information.

•Wilson Conservation Club annual kids fishing derby – 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 15, throughout Niagara County. No registration is required, and measurement of fish will take place at the club located at 2934 Wilson Cambria Road, Wilson. Open to ages 3-14. Participants must be in line by noon. Please contact Joe at 716-260-6825 for more information.

•Newfane Youth fishing contest – “Hooks for Harry” – 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 22, at the Town of Newfane Marina. There’s no cost for children ages 4-15. Register the morning of the event at the harbor located at 5818 W. Main St., Olcott. For further information, please contact Vic at 716-778-4482

•Niagara County Federation of Conservation Clubs fishing contest – Saturday, June 29, at the N.R.A.A. Wilderness Preserve located at 1136 Balmer Road., Youngstown. Open to the first 40 kids to register. Please contact Paul at 716-998-8910 for more information.

I hope to see you enjoying the local outdoors.

Every week I produce a fishing report, the Niagara County Fishing Hotline. You can access it online at www.niagarafallsusa.com or by simply calling 716-282-8992, ext. 4, to hear what’s up in the world of fishing. It is updated every Wednesday.

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