DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- On Thursday, 65 fifth graders from Eastwood Elementary School in Roseburg spent their day learning the basics of fishing.
The students were participating in Kid’s Day, which is the second day of the 28th annual Umpqua Fishery Enhancement Derby, hosted by Douglas Timber Operators and the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce.
Organizers said the derby is a week-long fundraiser for fish restoration projects in the Umpqua basin.
However, they said the purpose of Kid’s Day is to educate the younger generation about hatcheries and fishing.
“This is just to educate them about the fisheries and hopefully get them exposed to fishing down the road,” said Chris Baumgartner, a Kid’s Day sponsor.
Students caught their own fish with the help of licensed fishing guides who provided the boats and the equipment.
Organizers said Eastwood Elementary is one of the only schools who participate in the derby each year because they are already familiar with the fish.
They said the students raise their own steelhead in a creek near their school.
“(It’s fun) hanging out with my friends and classmates and fishing and telling stories about what we caught and what it was like,” said student Emma Chaendera.
Students were also provided with free life jackets from North River Boats.
After fishing lessons, students were taken on joy rides on jet boats to learn more about boat safety.
For more information on the derby, click here.