Fun and safety on the ice

Mother Mountain Anglers hold 4th annual Kids' Ice Fishing Clinic

For the 4th year in a row, the non-profit group Mother Mountain Anglers (MMA) held their annual Kids' Ice Fishing Clinic on January 11. With a cloudy sky Saturday morning, a departure from previous years, the number of people in attendance at first appeared to be low. Shortly before the starting time of 9 a.m., however, trucks and cars descended towards Treasure Island Pond. This marked the second consecutive year that MMA held their clinic on Silver Spur property.

After the young anglers were registered by their parents, MMA members took everyone out onto the thick ice of the pond. MMA member Josh Craig cautioned the children against going onto certain parts of the pond, advising them that the ice was thin. Craig told those gathered that the best way to survive falling through the ice was to remain calm and wait for rescue.

Craig also asked the children to ensure that the pond was as clean, or cleaner, than they had left it. Whether it is private or public land, he told them, always leave it better than you left it.

Following Craig's lessons, Game Warden Biff Burton provided additional ice safety to the children. Pulling out a pair of ice safety picks, Burton explained to both kids and adults that it was important to have a pair on hand. Then, laying on the ice, Burton showed people to use the safety picks to pull oneself across the ice.

The final safety came from Chili Rollison, who exampled a throw-bag to the audience. Rollison explained that, should one fall into the ice, they could throw the bag to someone on the thicker part of the ice and be pulled to safety. He further explained that, when being dragged to safety, they should hold the rope over their shoulder with their face to the sky so as to create an eddy of water that would keep their head afloat.

Following the safety lessons, the children were instructed to line up at the wall tent on the shore where they would receive their fishing gear. With funding from a Carbon County School District No. 2 Rec. Grant, MMA was able to purchase equipment from Trading Post and Riverside Garage and Cabins in Riverside and Hack's Tackle in Saratoga.

It didn't take long for the initial excitement for some of the children to dissipate. While some of the kids were committed to taking their time and waiting for a bite, others handed their poles to their parents before taking off onto the ice.

Unfortunately, there weren't many bites on Saturday and only one person caught a fish before returning it to the icy water. It didn't stop families from enjoying their time on the ice, however.


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