Fish and Wildlife stocks Columbia Park pond for kids fishing derby

Fish and Wildlife stocks Columbia Park pond for kids fishing derby

Opening weekend for fishing season across the state is just a few days away and many in the community are awaiting the 20th Annual Kids Fishing Derby at Columbia Park in Kennewick.

For 20 years Ken Johanning with “Kids Outdoor Experience” has partnered with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to create a weekend of fishing fun for the kids.

“You just have to see their faces, and you know they enjoy it,” said Johanning.

To prepare for opening weekend, WDFW stocked the pond at Columbia Park with about 6,000 fish on Wednesday.

Fish and Wildlife workers said they are busy all across the state right now.

“West side of the state, east side of the state — hundreds of lakes are being stocked for this opening weekend,” said Mike Erickson with WDFW.

However, Erickson said he gets something extra special from the partnership with Johanning for this particular event.

“A lot of people are losing interest in fishing, this kind of gets them back into that fishing niche,” he said. “It’s something that I grew up doing and I enjoy providing the opportunity for young children.”

As for Johanning, the event is a chance for him to see the familiar faces that started this journey with him.

“Now I’m getting to where the parents introduce me to their little kid because they were once little kids,” he said. “I guess I’m getting older,” said Johanning while laughing.

The fishing derby starts on Saturday.

Events will go from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for kids ages 5 to 14.

The cost is $10 per child and you must register.

For a link to registration, click here.