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April 5, 2014

A FISHING EXPEDITION: Family fishing day to be held at Community Park in New Albany

NEW ALBANY — You don’t have to live in the country in order to go fishing. On April 19, at Sam Peden Community Park in New Albany, you don’t even need a rod and reel or a can a worms.

All you need is a desire to want to spend a relaxing morning, by the lake, fishing with the family.

Through the Department of Natural Resources Go FishIN program, the Floyd County park was one of eight sites chosen in the state to host a free opportunity for families to fish. From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 19, DNR representatives as well as DNR crew leaders will be on hand to teach children and adults how to put a pole together, tie a fishing knot and use bait.

And it’s all free.

“I am really excited we have one of only eight lakes chosen to take part in this program,” said Floyd County Parks Director Roger Jeffers. “It’s a great program to introduce urban kids to fishing.”

Jeffers said last year DNR stocked the lake at Community Park with 700 catfish. He said more than 70 people attended a free fishing day in June at the lake.

However, the April 19 event is a little different, according to Go FishIN Coordinator Clinton R. Kowalik. He said by getting the entire family involved there is a better chance for a repeat visit to a lake.

“The family fishing workshop is different than a kids fishing derby. Participants will actually put together the rod they will be using, and learn how to put everything together instead of us just handing them a pole,” Kowalik said. “It gives them more ownership into what they are doing. And if something breaks, they will know how to fix it.

“We want to teach the entire family so everyone helps each other out.”

 Family Learn to Fish are free three-hour introductory workshops designed specifically for families to learn how to fish together, according to the DNR website. Families will learn a little fish biology and gain some basic fishing skills. All fishing equipment and bait will be provided. Children must be 6 years of age or older.  

Kowalik said similar events in the Indianapolis area have been popular. He said he will host eight family fishing days throughout the state.

“With this event, we are able to get a pole in mom and dad’s hand. It’s a way to get the entire family interested in fishing,” he said.

On April 17, DNR will host an adult fishing workshop in Floyd County to teach adult youth leaders how to fish or organize a fishing day with youth.

“We call them crew captains. This program can be modified for any age group or level,” Kowalik said. “We hope to get a bunch of people in Floyd County out fishing.”

The workshop is also free. To register call 317-234-8440 or go to

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