Kids Day at Umpqua Fishery Derby

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SUTHERLIN, Ore. — Some elementary school kids in Douglas County got the chance to get out of the classroom and into the wild Thursday.

It was a lesson in nature for a group of about 60 Roseburg 5th graders taking part in Kids Day with the Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby.

“Kids are getting the chance to fish like they used to. And this is an opportunity to introduce some kids to fishing. For many kids, it’ll be the first time they are ever in a boat,” said Dale Roberts, Chairman of the 2014 Derby.

The derby is an annual event focused on the improvement of the Umpqua Basin through education and other projects. About 30 volunteer fishermen brought their drift boats to the Cooper Creek Reservoir in Sutherlin to let kids have a go at fishing.

“It’s just fun because you have to be patient to do it. And you have to be really good at it, and you have to have talent to know how and where you can find the fish,” said fifth grader Nolan Shoop.

And patient they were. ODFW released more than 500 rainbow trout, and the kids waited for about an hour. But soon, they learned one very important thing about fishing: sometimes the fish don’t bite.

“On the fishing, I caught nothing…nobody caught anything,” said fifth grader Alyssia Folkman.

It was the first time in 22 years that no one caught a fish, but the event picked back up with the jet boats.

“I had a lot of fun on the jet boats. They went so fast,” Folkman said.

As an added bonus, and a lesson in safety, each 5th grader went home with a free life jacket from Cabela’s.

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