Free fishing event for kids at Lake Wheeler

CorrespondentMay 22, 2013 


    More than 35 fishing events for kids are being held around the state in the annual observance of National Fishing and Boating Week June 1-9. Here are a few events in the region:

    Johnston County: 9 a.m. June 1, Howell Woods, Four Oaks; preregister, Katrina McDougal,, 919-938-0115, ext. 225.

    Orange County: 9-12:30 June 1, Strayhorn Pond, off Interstate 40 near Hillsborough; register on-site; Julie Collins,, 919-918-7392.

    Wake County: 9 a.m. June 1, Simpkins Pond, Lake Wheeler, 6404 Lake Wheeler Road, Raleigh; Ben Coats, 919-662-5704.

    Other events:

A free fishing event at Lake Wheeler Park at 9 a.m. June 1 will be one of more than 35 fishing events for kids sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission across the state in celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week June 1-9.

Simpkins Pond at Lake Wheeler Park usually hosts 30 to 60 kids for its annual Kids Fishing Rodeo, Ben Coats, assistant park manager, said Monday. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m., and fishing starts around 9.

“We fish for an hour and a half to two hours, then we follow up with an awards ceremony,” Coats said, including that first, second and third places will be awarded in two age categories.

Young anglers also can enter a statewide drawing for a chance to win one of more than 150 fishing-related prizes. Names will be drawn at the end of June, a commission news release said.

The grand prize is a lifetime sportsman license, which includes freshwater and saltwater fishing privileges and hunting privileges and is donated by Neuse Sport Shop of Kinston. The first prize is a lifetime freshwater fishing license, donated by the N.C. State Council of Trout Unlimited.

Neuse Sport Shop also is donating tackle boxes, rod-and-reel combos and fishing line, and the commission is donating prizes including fishing towels, playing cards and mini-tackle boxes. Local sponsors for many events will provide prizes and gifts as well.

Learn more about National Fishing and Boating Week at the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s website For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit

Donation benefits young shooters: The N.C. Youth Shooting Foundation is the recipient of a $1,180 donation. The money comes from the 10th annual Challenge Cup between the L.C. Smith Gun Collectors Association and the Parker Gun Collectors Association during the April 26-28 Southern Side-by-Side Championship at Deep River Sporting Clays and Shooting School near Sanford.

The event benefits a different charity each year, said Deep River President Bill Kempffer, who presented the check May 11 to Rick Mitchell of the N.C. Youth Shooting Foundation to help encourage youth participation in the shooting sports.

Observers watching anglers fish: Biologists usually observe fish, but this spring and summer, observers will be watching recreational fishermen on Carteret County waters.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries said in a news release that its Observer Program staff in division-owned boats will watch people fish in order to document catches, fishing practices, effort and potential interactions with protected species.

Learn more from Jacob Boyd, protected species biologist, at 252-808-8088 or, or go to

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