Teach a kid to fish: Unionists help at Klineline Fish-in

Klineline Fish-InDustin Hysmith (crouched wearing vest) and Joe Harris (standing behind him), members of Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, spent a Saturday baiting hooks, untangling fishing lines, and reeling in fish, all part of the 14th annual Klineline Kids Fish-in April 14 at Salmon Creek Park in Vancouver.

More than two dozen union members from various locals volunteered to help more than 3,000 kids ages 5 to 14  learn to fish. Several unions also donated money to the event. For a $5 registration fee, each child received a fishing rod and reel and a T-shirt with sponsor logos. Trophies were awarded for biggest and smallest fish caught, and there were raffles throughout the day for bikes.

Two days before the event, Klineline Pond was closed to the public and stocked with more than 11,000 trout.

“Just preparing for this event takes thousands of hours,” said Hysmith, who is secretary of the Klineline Kids Fish Non-Profit.

Initially the fish-in was sponsored by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, but budget cuts to the agency forced them to give it up. The community stepped up to keep it going. Unions helping out this year included Local 16, IBEW Local 48, Cement Masons Local 555, Laborers Local 296, Bakers Local 114, Fire Fighters Local 1805, as well as the Signatory Painting Contractors Organization, and Vancouver Roofing and Sheet Metal.

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