The rainbow trout writhed in the water as 5-year-old Mason Lynch reeled it in. The drag on the reel was set low, but with his grandmother Lu Ann Glasser’s help, he was able to slowly bring it in.
It wasn’t a typical fishing outing, though. They didn’t fish from a stream, a lake or the ocean.
They fished from the Shadle Aquatic Center pool.
Spokane Parks and Recreation on Saturday stocked the Shadle pool with about 200 rainbow trout brought in from the Colville Fish Hatchery. Families paid $5 to fish at the Youth Fishing Frenzy event. No fishing licenses were required.
Josh Oakes, recreation supervisor for Spokane Parks and Recreation, said he got the idea while searching through archives. He ran across a flier for a similar event in Witter Aquatic Center during the 1980s.
“I thought, that would be a good idea to launch our aquatic season,” he said.
Oakes acknowledged how unusual it is to fish out of a swimming pool, but said it’s a fun way to promote fishing and also the pool.
“You fish in lakes and rivers. This is more of an urban environment. These are urban ponds,” he said.
Avista Utilities also gave away free life jackets at the pool, where a lifeguard stood watch, and the Eastern Washington University Fishing Club set up a fish-cleaning station for the young anglers.
Oakes said the event in total cost around $2,000, but sponsorships and donations helped offset much of the cost.
Fianna Dickson, spokeswoman for Parks and Recreation, said the health department signed off on the event. The water in the pool for Saturday’s event is fresh water that’s left during the winter to prevent damage from freezing temperatures, she said.
Dickson wrote in an email that the water will be drained into sewage pipes after the event, and staff will power wash and disinfect the pool surface. Staff will then fill the pool and treat the water to meet Center for Disease Control standards.
Michael Marigny Jr., 6, caught two trout on Saturday and said he didn’t think it was weird to catch them out of a pool: “It was fun,” he said.
His father, Michael Marigny said, “I’ve taken him to swimming lessons here for the last three years,” and the Youth Fishing Frenzy is something he will do again with his son.
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