April 26, 2010
Little anglers net big fish
Children catch trout, learn about aquatic life at Lime Hollow
CORTLANDVILLE — Noah Newhart was looking at and touching dragon flies, tadpoles and salamanders that were swimming inside plastic buckets Saturday at Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture.
The creatures had all been found in creeks and ponds at Lime Hollow that day. They were displayed on a table to educate children at the 17th annual Fishing Festival, held Saturday morning at Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture.
Noah, 7, of Moravia, looked under the table and saw a frog had escaped from a white bucket and was sitting by a wall.
“The frog! It’s escaping!,” Newhart shouted as he bent down and tried to grab it. As it hopped forward, Newhart tried to stay in front of it. “Get the frog! Get the frog!”
The frog made its way onto the grass near the display, but Newhart grabbed it and carried it back to the bucket.
“I really like frogs. I really like water creatures,” Newhart said after he had placed the frog back in the bucket.
Newhart was at the fishing festival with his older brother Logan, 9, and his father, Jeff Newhart. They attended the annual fishing festival for the third or fourth time Saturday, Jeff Newhart said.
“Me and my brother are really interested in fish,” Logan Newhart said, as the two brothers looked at the water creatures in the buckets.
The display was one of several educational stations at the fishing festival. The central activity was catching a fish in a creek, which had been filled with trout. Staff members assisted children to catch a fish and showed them techniques.
Jeff Newhart said his sons have been fishing since a young age.
“I don’t know what it is about kids and fishing. They just love it,” Jeff Newhart said.
Between 350 and 500 people attended the festival, said Glenn Reisweber, executive director of Lime Hollow.
He said the festival is one of two times each year that people are allowed to fish at Lime Hollow. The other time is fishing week during a summer camp for children.
“We expose them to fishing and for many kids this is the first time they catch a fish,” Reisweber said.
The event was organized by Lime Hollow, the state Department of Environmental Conservation, Tunison Fish Laboratory and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Children ages 3 to 9 years old fished in a small pond, while children 11 to 14 years old fished in a larger body of water.
SUNY Cortland art professor Liz Sharp has been helping children to make T-shirts using dead fish at the fishing festival for over 10 years.
Children painted the fish with fabric paint and pressed them onto white T-shirts to create fish patterns.
It is a traditional way of showcasing trophy fish in Japan. Instead of stuffing a fish and hanging it, fishermen paint a fish and press it onto a piece of paper or fabric and frame it, Sharp said.
Sharp said she learned the technique while living in Tokyo.
“We’re having fun,” Sharp said. “We want to get them (the children) involved with all aspects of fish for the rest of their lives.”
The fish the children used to make the T-shirts were donated from Fins and Tails Seafood Store in Syracuse.
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