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Fish-In hooks damp fun, success

Ed Duarte helps his son Sean hook the first Trout to be caught Saturday during a Scoout Troop 544 outing from Silverdale at Webster
Ed Duarte helps his son Sean hook the first Trout to be caught Saturday during a Scoout Troop 544 outing from Silverdale at Webster's Pond in Poulsbo. The Kids Fish-In had about a dozen participants.
— image credit: Brad Camp/Staff Photo

POULSBO — A lot of giggling, flopping and splashing heralded in the first Kids’ Fish-In of the year Saturday, allowing seven members of Silverdale’s Boy Scout Troop No. 544 the experience of reeling in rainbow trout. They were assisted by Indianola-based Trout Unlimited fishermen, who showed them the ins and outs of hooks, reels and fish guts.

“This is pretty much the first fish I really got,” said 10-year-old Scout Noah Burgess after cleaning his first catch of the day. “It was pretty gross.”

The event was held at Webster’s Pond, just outside of Poulsbo on Bond Road, the same spot the Trout Unlimited group hosted a similar fish-in in October 2006 with the Port Gamble S’Klallam Youth Center.

Originally, the fishing organization was using Webster’s Pond to raise and release salmon fry. But last year, members had a difficult time getting salmon for the site. As a result, they raised rainbow trout and planted them in August 2006, opening the artificial pond for one day to kids. Trout Unlimited members said they got the idea from similar events taking place on the East Coast that “reel in” kids from all over.

“The fishing has been good so far,” said Trout Unlimited president Bob Winkel. “Catching’s not so good, there are a lot of fish in there, but I think it’s too cold. The kids are learning some good fishing techniques though.”

He gave Burgess and his mother, Debra Burgess, some tips on cooking the trout he had caught, including how to prepare it in the microwave, fry it up or bake it. He also offered advice on how to easily debone the fish.

“They’re doing great,” Debra Burgess said of the Scouts. “My son caught a fish, and he’s thrilled with it.”

The fish-in was organized by Craig Kettel, who works with the troop and is a bit of a fisherman himself.

Seven of the troop’s 24 scouts attended the event, earning a fishing belt loop in the process.

“Yeah, I’m having fun,” said 8-year-old Sean Michael Duarte, who nabbed the first catch of the day. “I decided to release him though.”

Kettel’s son, 8-year-old Billy Kettel, hooked the first fish, but it escaped before he could reel it in. Billy Kettel said he’s been fishing long enough — since the age of 3 — that losing a fish doesn’t bother him much any more.

“He hooked the first fish, but it got away,” Craig Kettel said. “But that’s why they call it fishing, not catching.”

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