There’s no need to bring a wallet to the Kids Fishing Rodeo at Mistletoe State Park in Appling on Saturday.
The annual park program will be held in conjunction with Georgia State Parks’ “Your State Parks Day” so the usual $5 parking fee will be waived, said Brenda Bettross, Mistletoe’s program assistant.
“There is no charge in Georgia state parks on this day,” she said.
That means children of all ages can attend the Kids Fishing Rodeo and enjoy the day’s festivities.
“We had 110 people attend last year’s program,” Bettross said. “From 9 a.m. until noon, children 15-years-old or younger can fish in the stocked cove. After noon, anyone can fish the cove with a Georgia or South Carolina fishing license.”
The Kids Fishing Rodeo is an effort to introduce fishing to children who might not otherwise get the chance to fish. About half of last year’s anglers were first-timers, Bettross said.
“We ask that folks bring their own gear and bait,” she said, adding that the park office has a few poles available for loan.
To make sure all kids catch a fish or two, the Department of Natural Resources stocks a small cove with catfish and blocks the entrance with a net so the fish can’t get out. Once the event is over, DNR staffers remove the net.
Park volunteers will demonstrate the proper way to clean fish. Friends of Mistletoe State Park, which is providing volunteers and helping fund the event, will provide hot dogs, chips and drinks for participating families.
“If folks are interested in assisting with this event, they can call the park and I will get their information for Friends of Mistletoe State Park,” Bettross said.
“We’re calling this celebration ‘Your State Parks Day’ to remind Georgians that state parks and historic sites belong to them,” said Andy Fleming, executive director of the Friends of Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites in a recent press release. “Parks add so much to our lives. We’re hoping more people will visit the state park closest to their homes, and that they’ll join one of the service projects happening that day.”
For more information about Mistletoe State Park’s Kids Fishing Rodeo or any other programs and events, call the park office at (706) 541-0321.
Wildwood Park in Appling also will hold a fishing rodeo Saturday, starting with registration at 8 a.m. The event is sponsored by the Clarks Hill Fish for Life Foundation. For information, call (706) 541-0586.