Free fishing clinic offered Saturday

Mike Jimenez: PNT Intern

Oasis State Park is hiolding the 15th annual Kids Free Fishin’ Clinic Saturday. The event is sponsored in conjunction with the Friends of Oasis, ENMU Wildlife Club, Clovis Evening Alliance, local volunteers and other area organizations.

The fishing clinic will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Parents are encouraged to bring their children, ages 6 to 17. Any child 12 and older must have a valid New Mexico fishing license.

Call the park at 356-5331 and pre-register each child you wish to have participate. The information required for each child is their name, age, the sponsoring adult’s name and phone number. Early registration is recommended as their are a limited number of slots available.

Activities for the clinic are as follows: there will be a morning clinic that consists of eight to 10 stations which provide some form of instruction or education. These stations consist of casting, ethics and conservation, water safety, fly fishing, fish cleaning, tackle identification, knot tying, fly tying, fish biology, and aquatic invertebrates.

“The best thing is to see the parents and the kids out for a day of fun,” Jim Whary, park manager said.

Whary said the event is a clinic and not a derby. Whary said this will be his 12th clinic.

One of the more popular stations is the fish cleaning station which will have as samples, salmon that has been purchased and/or donated. These salmon will later be grilled during lunch. Ben Hible will be conducting this station.

Vance Dewbre will be conducting the fly tying station, which Whary says has been a favorite during past clinics.

In the fish biology station, a transparent fish will be available for demonstration. Catherine Jones, Regional Interpretive Ranger from the Living Desert State Park in Carlsbad will be conducting this station.

The aquatic invertebrate station will provide an insight into all of the microorganisms that exist in the water at the lake.
The water safety station will be conducted by the boating officers from Sumner Lake.

The ethics and conservation station will be providing education on such issues as not jumping over someone’s fishing pole, being rude to other fishermen, and not going over the posted limits. They will also cover keeping the recreation areas clean and better than they were before use.

They will have some tackle available and there will be a drawing for door prizes.

“Every participant will get a prize,” Whary said.

The lake will be stocked with rainbow trout that are raised at one of the northern fish hatcheries in New Mexico.

The clinic is supported by appproximately 45 volunteers and normally has a participation of about 75 kids and 45 parents. Whary said the clinic has only been postponed once due to bad weather.

Whary also said participants are invited to bring canned food for a food drive. A drive last year resulted in 630 pounds. Whary said the park staff will not turn anyone away if they do not have the canned food, but the idea seems appropriate so close to Thanksgiving.

The Retired Senior Volunteer Program of Portales will provide lunch. This will consist of hot dogs, hamburgers, hot chocolate, coffee, and soda, along with any salmon that were used in the demonstration of fish cleaning.