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ST. MARYS — A group of more than 20 St. Marys youth gathered at Grand Lake St. Marys State Park Wednesday afternoon for the third and final installment of Fishing, Fun & Fellowship.
Fishing, Fun & Fellowship was open to St. Marys students entering the first through fifth grade and was held once in June, July and August. The event was offered free of charge for participants through a grant.
“We were able to do all this through a grant from the Division of Wildlife,” Organizer Kara Birt told The Evening Leader. “Without that grant, this wouldn’t have been possible.”
In addition to the grant money, volunteers were also essential to run the event.
“We had volunteers from the local churches,” Birt said.
Each day of Fishing, Fun & Fellowship included time fishing, a lunch and games.
“The first time, we caught a lot of fish because it was at the beginning of the season,” Birt said.
Kalie Gayer, 10, said she has learned a lot about fishing through attending the events.
“How to put on a the worm, some names of the fish, how to hold your fishing pole,” Kalie said, noting fishing is her favorite part.
Ella Jacobs, 6, said she had been fishing with her grandfather before attending Fishing, Fun & Fellowship, but the event taught her a few new tricks.
“I learned to hold still as long as you can to so you can catch big fish and little fish,” she said.
Ella noted one type of fish that she has caught.
“I’ve caught a little bass,” she said.
Cadence Hulinger, 8, said she has learned how to handle a fish through the events.
“You try not to get cut by the fish and their gills,” she said.
She noted the process she goes through when she thinks she caught a fish.
“If you think you caught a fish, reel it in a little and pull it up and check,” she said.
Cadence said she was hesitant to take fish off the hook.
“If you catch a fish and there’s no adult, carry the line close to the fish, but not close enough that the gills can get you and find an adult,” she said, noting she prefers to have an adult take the fish off the hook for her.
Birt said she was pleased with how the Fishing, Fun & Fellowship events went and said she is hoping to offer them again next year.