To simply state, “Fishing is an important aspect of my life,” grossly understates the role of fishing in my life. On occasion I remark that, “Fishing isn’t a matter of life or death. It’s far more important than that!” It’s the love of the sport that had driven me to be involved with FishExplorer.com, write, become involved with fishing organizations, and volunteer my time for the betterment of fishing.
I feel that as anglers we have an obligation to give something back to the sport that has given us so much. It doesn’t have to be some earth shattering activity; the simple act of cleaning up after ourselves and others is an excellent way to keep our fisheries pleasant places to visit. By setting the example, maybe, just maybe others will follow suit, eliminating the need to pick up thoughtlessly discarded items.
Marty Martinez, aka HeavyC, is one fisherman who’s gone beyond just volunteering a bit of time and has organized a clean-up at Big Thompson SWA for three years running now. This year’s event is scheduled for next weekend, July 14, from 9-11 a.m. Afterwards there will be a BBQ/grilling potluck to squelch any appetite developed due to picking up trash. Early birds, and those who stick around after lunch will have plenty of fishing opportunities.
To volunteer, please contact HeavyC directly at: email@example.com or 970-689-0420. Big Thompson SWA is located south of Loveland just off I-25. Exit off the interstate at Highway 402 and take the east frontage road 3/4 mile north to interstate underpass. Go left through underpass then 1/4 mile north to the parking area.
Gathering other people’s litter isn’t for everyone, but don’t fret volunteer opportunities abound, such as helping with “Kids Free Fishing Fest” two weeks from now on July 21st at West Lake, Red Feathers Lakes. This event will go from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. leaving plenty of time to explore the other area fisheries such as Parvin, Bellaire, and Dowdy.
Rocky Mountain Flycaster Trout Unlimited Chapter is an official partner along with the Forest Service and several other organizations. Volunteer can expect to have a good time helping a bunch of excited youngsters spin cast, untangle lines, and land fish. If working with kids sounds like a great time then contact Coordinator Dennis Cook at 372-9229 or rkymtnangler@Q.com for further information on how you can help.
People are encouraged to bring their kids and grandkids and make a memorable picnic day of it! Space is limited to about 100 kids ages 15 and younger, and each will go home sporting a free, new spinning rod and reel. Youths must be accompanied by an adult and the whole family is invited. Those ages 16 or older require a fishing license. Register by July 16th by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of participants, youths ages, and contact information.
The West Lake Day-use Area is located just off Red Feather Lakes Road (CR 74E). Drive about 21 miles north from Fort Collins on U.S. Highway 287. Turn west onto Red Feather Lakes Road (CR 74E) and drive about 22 miles. Turn north onto Dowdy Lake Road and West Lake is immediately on your right, with the Day-Use Area along its North shore.
While both these functions are well worth your time, they are just two of the myriad of volunteer activities available to you. It really doesn’t matter what you do to give something back to the sport, just so long as you do so. I volunteer several times every year. I hope you will join me, as together we can have a huge positive impact on the sport we all love so much.