Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 18, 2018

A great day to go fishing

Over 100 individuals participate in annual Fish Day
Jun 07, 2018
Photo by: David Hotle Plenty of bluegill and bass were caught Wednesday as people from two area agencies participated in the annual Izaak Walton League Handicapped Fishing Day.

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


As Brenna Burlingame helped Armando DeHouges bait his hook, which he would soon cast out into the blue water of Marr Park pond in hopes of getting a bite, it couldn’t help but be noticed it was the perfect day for fishing.

The two came out to be part of the annual Izaak Walton League Handicapped Fishing Day on Wednesday, June 6. DeHouges commented that this is the second Fish Day he has been a part of and he really likes coming to the park to fish with his friends. When asked what he likes about the event, he said “everything.”

During his previous trip to the park he had caught one fish, but on Wednesday planned to add to his score with significantly more.

“He seems to really like it,” Burlingame, staff at WCDC Inc., said. “I hope he catches something.”

Along the banks of the pond and on the docks leading into the water, the area was alive with over 100 people who got their lines wet, enjoying the summer weather, telling fish stories and sharing their secret spots along the bank. Duke, the WCDC service dog, moved around the pond, taking time to play with the clients either learning or relearning to fish.

Don Pfeiffer, president of the Izaak Walton League, reported that over 50 bluegill and bass had been caught by noon Wednesday. He also said that when the event ended at 1:30 p.m., he expected about 150 people to have participated, including a group from Goodwill on the Go from Iowa City.

“The Izaak Walton League has sponsored this since the late 1970s,” Pfeiffer said. “Before that it was actually started by a man named Paul Horak who brought handicapped people to Lake Odessa where they had a cabin during the 1950s.”

Pfeiffer said after the league took over the event, the location was changed to Marr Park because it was more convenient. He also said a lunch was provided for the people fishing. The event started around 9:30 a.m.

All ages were represented at the event as the age ranged from 10 to over 60.

“It is a good outing for them,” he said. “It gives the caregivers a little break. They get a good meal here and we will give some prizes for the fish.”

Among the people helping at the event were Washington County Sheriff Jared Schneider and several deputies, who would present the awards later in the afternoon.

The Washington County Conservation Board supplied traditional bamboo fishing poles and bait worms, said executive director Steve Anderson. Staff members assist the anglers as they fish.

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