Kalispell students help restock a pond with rainbow trout
KALISPELL – It was a fun afternoon at Dry Bridge Pond in Kalispell as 50 grade four students from Hedges Elementary School helped stock the pond with rainbow trout.
Five hundred two-year-old rainbow trout from the Creston Hatchery were released into the pond at Dry Bridge as children carried buckets and watched the trout splash.
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Fisheries Management Biologist Kenny Breidinger used the afternoon to teach the kids some valuable conservation lessons.
“We try to give them a little bit of education about conservation and some of the threats of invasive species, invasions and non-native fish introductions,” Breidinger said.
Breidinger said teaching lessons at a young age goes a long way.
“We’ve actually done interviews with anglers in other places when we talk to people and a lot of adults remember programs like this or community fishing events or a hooked fishing program, c It’s a great way to reach our anglers,” added Breidinger.
Nine-year-old Seth Smiley loves to fish and had a great time with his classmates.
“I love the catching part and the releasing part and the joy of seeing a live animal not only break free again, but being able to observe it and learn more,” Smiley said.
Breidinger said restocking the trout-filled pond is always a fun day for kids.
“They’re obviously here having fun, it’s a good experience for them and because it’s a fun experience, I hope it stays with them for a long time,” Breidinger said.