Union members spent a Saturday baiting hooks, untangling fishing lines, and reeling in fish at the 15th annual Klineline Kids Fish-in April 12 at Salmon Creek Park in Vancouver. April 11 was set aside for special needs children. About 300 kids participated.
Hosted by Klineline Kids Fishing Nonprofit, with help and support from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, Clark Public Utilities, Fire District 6, unions, and local businesses, the program is aimed at getting kids outdoors and involved in fishing. Two days before the event, Klineline Pond is closed to the public and stocked with nearly 14,000 trout. More than two dozen union members from various locals joined other volunteers to help an estimated 3,000 kids ages 5 to 14 learn to fish.
“We probably had 10,000 people go through the park on Saturday,” said Dustin Hysmith, a member of Sheet Metal Workers Local 16 who serves as secretary on the Klineline Kids Fishing Nonprofit. “It’s a great event that keeps growing every year.”
For a $5 registration fee, each child received a fishing rod and reel and a T-shirt with sponsor logos. Trophies are awarded for biggest and smallest fish caught, and there are raffles throughout the day for bikes and other fun stuff.
Unions helping out this year were Sheet Metal Workers Local 16, IBEW Local 48, Laborers Local 296, Teamsters Locals 58 and 305, Machinists Lodge 63, Boilermakers Local 500, and the Fire Fighters Union.