By Will Ravenstein, Fort Riley Public AffairsMay 21, 2018
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- The banks of Moon Lake was lined with Fort Riley youth and their families May 12 as the annual Kid's Fishing Day event at Moon Lake was held after being delayed due to weather last month.
"It's an annual event we had to postpone earlier because of weather," said Steve Wahle, Fish and Wildlife Biologist, environmental division, Directorate of Public Works and event organizer. "It turned out to be a beautiful day. We are at the start and the banks are already full of kids. It's a good thing."
Each kid, 7-years-old and younger, was given a free tackle box, if needed, after registering at the entrance. Free loaner fishing poles were also available if needed along with free bait.
The event was the first time that 3-year-old Evelyn Lundak, daughter of Staff Sgt. Kevin Lundak, 1st Battalion, 5th Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division.
"(It's) cool to see the kids come out and give it a shot," Lundak said. "It's cool to see the kids out here learning new things, having fun, trying new adventures."
Verdigre, Nebraska, native Amber Cole, wife of Staff Sgt. Matthew Cole, Warrior Transition Battalion, Irwin Army Community Hospital, was out with her husband and three children; Carson, 4; Carter, 8 and Cohen 9.
"We really enjoy it," she said. "We actually fish a lot. I think we enjoy it more for people you normally don't come out and fish. I think it's a great opportunity for people to come out, there is a lot of people here willing to help people who aren't normally fisherman."
Cole said she appreciates that Fort Riley has activities for families to do together.
"I think that Fort Riley does really well with having a lot of family events," she said. "There is always something going on.
Someone does really well with getting families together and involved. I like that a lot."
Fort Riley Game Warden Chris Wood, Directorate of Emergency Services, said he was thrilled to see the children and families present.
"This is our future," he said. "Everyone that's out here fishing today is our future. Every kid out here eventually will buy fishing or hunting license. That's going to support the future of Kansas' wildlife. It's good to see the kids out here and it's good to see them out here too. They are out here and learning to do it right."
Wood emphasized that fishing is a great bonding activity and he enjoyed seeing the families that turned out.
"I enjoy seeing parents, you can't say dad and son anymore -- it's mom and son, dad and daughter, it's mom and the whole clan while dad is deployed and the other way around -- it's good to see them out. It's family bonding time, it's learning how to do things right, it's learning outdoor skills," he said.
Fort Riley has 29 fishing ponds but with the drought only 15 are currently being managed Wahl said.
"When those ponds start getting dry we don't stock them anymore," he said. "We stock usually monthly or bi-monthly. Stocking reports can be found on the iSportsman website (fortriley.isportsman.net). If you fish any pond on Fort Riley except for Moon Lake and Cameron Springs, in the cantonment area, you have to sign in on iSportsman. It has the sticking reports on there, what training areas are open, what ponds you can go to."
Visit fortriley.isportsman.net for information and restrictions for all fishing, hunting and outdoor activities.