Organizers are asking for participants to register for the free event by June 30
WOODLAND — Children with disabilities will be provided with an opportunity to experience what it’s like to land a big trout during the 20th annual Merwin Special Kids Day from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 14.
More than 100 youngsters are expected to attend the event, which will be held at the Merwin Fish Hatchery east of Woodland and is sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Pacific Power.
Participants are asked to pre-register for the event by June 30, which can be done by calling 1-800-899-4421.
“Prior to the event, WDFW will plant the wheelchair-accessible hatchery waters with up to 3,000 trout ranging in size from one to four pounds each,” according to a press release. “Volunteers will then serve as one-on-one fishing coaches, assisting youngsters throughout the day.”
Not having the proper gear does not prevent a child from participating.
Rods, reels, tackle and T-shirts will be provided for young anglers, who will also be allowed to keep the equipment. There will also be a free barbecue lunch followed by a casting contest and additional activities.
Launched in 1999, the annual fishing event draws children from the Vancouver School for the Blind, Doernbecher Children’s Hospital, Emanuel Legacy, Kaiser Kids and Shriners hospitals, but anyone will a special-needs child is invited to participate.