(MALTA, MT) - Food and Fun on Ice! Sounds like a choreographed Ice Capades show but, in reality, it’s an apt description for the annual Nelson Reservoir Kids’ Ice Fishing Day held March 4, 2014.
After seemingly endless weeks of subzero temperatures, children and adults alike were ready to have some outdoor fun. Students and teachers from Whitewater Elementary and Harlem Colony Schools joined members of the Malta Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks for a balmy (above zero) day on the lake.
Fishing was a little slow yet steady throughout the day. Everyone had a chance to either catch or kiss a fish. While all tried their best to catch at least one fish, not much enthusiasm was shown for the smooching part.
Walleyes Unlimited provided a belly-warming lunch and much ice fishing expertise. Participants learned about the more common fish species caught in Nelson Reservoir, learned how to use an assortment of ice fishing gear, and were able to tour a variety of ice fishing structures.
Engaging youth in Public Land Stewardship is one of Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell's and BLM Montana/Dakotas State Director Jamie Connell's top initiatives.
“The Nelson Reservoir Kids Ice Fishing Day fits in with several state and national initiatives, such as BLM's Take it Outside Initiative, which focuses on programs that engage children and families in outdoor activities,” said Kathy Tribby, the BLM HiLine District Outdoor Recreation Planner.
“These programs have developed out of a growing national concern that children are spending significantly less time outdoors and becoming disconnected from nature as well as developing a variety of health problems that correlate with the lack of outdoor activities,” Tribby explained. “Hopefully, these children will be inspired to enjoy the ice fishing skills they've learned throughout their lifetime.”
The teachers and parents appeared to have just as much fun as the kids and it seemed that everyone was reluctant to leave at the end of the day. What more could you ask for?
(Kids Fishing Day_Ice Viewing) No, this isn’t a tragic ice accident. One of the day’s most popular activities was using a blanket as a blind to get a better look down the ice hole at the annual Nelson Reservoir Kids’ Ice Fishing Day held March 4, 2014, near Malta, MT.
|(Kids Fishing Day_Lunch) Members of the Malta Chapter of Walleyes Unlimited provided lunch for all participants of the annual Nelson Reservoir Kids’ Ice Fishing Day held March 4, 2014, near Malta, MT.|
|(Kids Fishing Day_Agency Partners) U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Maintenance Professional Nick Hopkins, Bureau of Land Management HiLine District Outdoor Recreation Planner Kathy Tribby, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks Region 6 Information and Education Program Manager Ron Selden were participating agency partners in the annual Nelson Reservoir Kids’ Ice Fishing Day held March 4, 2014, near Malta, MT. Who better to share a love of the outdoors?|
The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM's mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2013, the BLM generated $4.7 billion in receipts from public lands.