Ice fishing indoors

Despite warm weather, Lynd students learned about a Minnesota winter sport on Thursday

Photo by Deb Gau Lynd School students laughed as they got hit with the breeze from a fan Dave Hoggard took out of his ice fishng shelter during a talk on Thursday. Students got a chance to learn how ice fishing rods and other gear worked

LYND — It was a different kind of show and tell. A class of third grade students peered through the windows and doors of a portable ice fishing shelter set up inside a classroom at Lynd Public School. The kids had plenty of questions as Dave Hoggard talked about fishing and ice safety.

“Do you take that tent with you when you go ice fishing?” asked one student.

“Yes, I do,” Hoggard said.

Hoggard and Pat McCarthy gave talks about ice fishing to Lynd students at all grade levels throughout the day Thursday. The event was something that grew out of an ongoing project to learn about fishing and ecology in southwest Minnesota, said Lynd science teacher Martin Boucek.

This winter, older Lynd students have been raising trout fry in a specialized aquarium, with the help of Minnesota Trout Unlimited’s Trout in the Classroom program.

“It’s fantastic for the kids to be able to do this,” Boucek said.

As another way to get some outdoor learning experiences for students, Boucek contacted pro staff at Clam Outdoors about doing outreach on ice fishing.

“We’re so glad these guys could come,” Boucek said of Hoggard and McCarthy’s visit.

Kids asked Hoggard and McCarthy a wide range of questions as they got a close-up look at ice fishing rods and gear. One third grader wanted to know how long the biggest fish Hoggard ever caught was.

“It was longer than me,” he answered — although he said that was while he was fishing in the ocean, and not on the ice.

“Did you ever go fishing at the North Pole?” another student asked. Hoggard replied that he had been to Canada, but never to North Pole, Alaska.

Besides teaching about ice fishing and showing students how ice fishing gear worked, McCarthy and Hoggard also talked about staying safe on the ice.

“You don’t want to ice fish by yourself,” McCarthy said.

Hoggard explained to students the process of making holes in the ice to measure how thick it is.

“You always have to check on it,” he said.

Boucek said the original idea for Hoggard and McCarthy’s visit was to have in-school talks about ice fishing on Thursday, and then give students the option to try fishing at an area lake the next day.

“The dilemma is the weather,” Boucek said. This week’s warm temperatures meant there might not be ice to fish on.

Hoggard said he was going to check the ice thickness at Rock Lake, south of Russell in Lyon County, and see whether it would be possible for students to do any hands-on fishing.

Hoggard said teaching kids about fishing was something he enjoyed, and a way to promote the sport. People who start outdoor sports like fishing or hunting at a younger age are more likely to stick with it, he said.

“It thrills me to see those kids learn something they’ll carry forever,” Hoggard said.


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