Machinists help disabled kids ‘catch a memory’ at fish hatchery


Local 1005 delegate Mike Housley helped disabled kids catch trout at annual fishing event at Whisky Creek fish hatchery sponsored by the Tillamook Anglers. Photos by Michael Gutwig

Machinists Lodge 1005 donated money and volunteers to the 27th Annual Fishing Day for Kids with Disabilities. Non-profit Tillamook Anglers hosted the event Saturday, Sept. 14, at Whiskey Creek fish hatchery on Netarts Bay south of Tillamook. Volunteering from Lodge 1005 were President Larry Bickett and delegate Mike Housley. They were joined by their wives Karla and Patty, and Housley’s son, Steve. They worked the event as personal fishing assistants for the kids. Other volunteers cleaned and bagged fish, served coffee, scooped ice cream, helped with parking, and took pictures.

More than 450 kids and their families enjoyed the day.

“We would love to see more labor involvement in this event. We’ve been doing it for two years, and it really warms your heart to see these kids having such a good time,” said Housley.

This is Bickett’s second year volunteering, he says he looks forward to next year. The payback?  “The kids have so much fun. It’s great to see families together enjoying the day.”

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife stocks the hatchery with 1,400 big rainbow trout prior to the event. Everything is furnished: Fishing rods, gear, bait, fish cleaning, ice, and bags to take home the limit of four rainbow trout. Participants are allowed to catch and keep four fish each.

Coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts are provided prior to the event, followed by a barbeque lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato salad, chips, water, soft drinks and ice cream. The burgers are cooked on a barbecue built in 2013 by volunteers from Bricklayers Local 1.

Whiskey Creek Hatchery is volunteer-operated and funded by Tillamook Anglers memberships, donations, and fundraisers. It annually raises 100,000 spring-run Chinook salmon for release into rivers that feed into Tillamook Bay. The hatchery sponsors an annual fin clipping day in April. The Housleys and Bicketts volunteer for that, too.


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