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Kids’ Fish-In hooks damp fun, success

 Ed Duarte helps his son Sean hook the first trout to be caught Saturday during a Silverdale Boy Scout Troop 544 outing at Webster’s Pond in Poulsbo. The Kids Fish-In had about a dozen participants.  - Photo by Brad Camp
Ed Duarte helps his son Sean hook the first trout to be caught Saturday during a Silverdale Boy Scout Troop 544 outing at Webster’s Pond in Poulsbo. The Kids Fish-In had about a dozen participants.
— image credit: Photo by Brad Camp

POULSBO — A lot of giggling, flopping and splashing heralded in the first Kids’ Fish-In of the year on Saturday, allowing seven members of Silverdale’s Boy Scouts Troop No. 544 the experience of reeling in rainbow trout.

They were assisted by Indianola-based Trout Unlimited fishermen, who showed them the ins and outs of hooks, reels and fish guts.

“This is pretty much the first fish I really got,” said 10-year-old troop member Noah Burgess after cleaning his first catch of the day. “It was pretty gross.”

The event was at Webster’s Pond, just outside of Poulsbo on Bond Road, the same spot the Trout Unlimited group hosted a similar fish-in in October 2006, with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Youth Center, that was successful and encouraged them to organize another one.

Originally, the fishing organization was utilizing Webster’s Pond to raise and release salmon fry. But last year they had a hard time getting their hands on salmon, so they raised rainbow trout instead and planted them in the artificial pond in August 2006, opening the pond for one day to kids. They got the idea from similar events taking place on the East Coast with good success rates, reeling in kids from all over.

“The fishing has been good so far,” said Trout Unlimited President Bob Winkel. “Catching’s not so good, there are a lot of fish in there, but I think it’s too cold. The kids are learning some good fishing techniques though.”

He gave Noah Burgess and his mom, Debra Burgess, some tips on cooking the trout Noah Burgess caught, including how to cook it in the microwave, fry it up or bake it. He also gave them advice on how to easily debone the fish.

“They’re doing great,” Debrea Burgess said of the kids. “My son caught a fish, and he’s thrilled with it.”

The fish-in was organized by Craig Kettel, who works with the troop and is a bit of a fisherman himself. He’s also friends with Paul Dorn, who put the troop in touch with Trout Unlimited as he knew they were looking for a group of kids eager to learn the art of fishing. Kettel was contacted by Winkel, and approached the 24 members of the troop. Seven decided it was a skill worth learning, also earning a fishing belt loop in the process.

“Yeah, I’m having fun,” said 8-year-old Sean Michael Duarte, who caught the first fish of the day. “I decided to release him though.”

Kettel’s son, 8-year-old Billy Kettel, hooked the first fish, but it swam off before he could reel it in. Billy Kettel said he’s been fishing long enough, since the age of 3, that losing a fish doesn’t bother him much any more.

“He hooked the first fish, but it got away,” Craig Kettel said. “But that’s why they call it fishing, not catching.”

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