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SENTINEL TRIBUNE VIEWPOINT Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Page 4 M-N DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES Take a kid fishing and fish free Looking to spend some quality time with a kid? Consider Take a Kid Fishing Weekend. Minnesotans age i 6 or older do not need a fishing license while taking a child age 15 or younger fishing from Friday, June 6 to Sunday, June 8, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. "This is an annual opportunity for an adult to introduce a child to fishing without the prior pur- chase of a fishing licene," said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring pro- gram coordinator. "This is a great weekend to get friends and family involved with fishing." To start, see the DNR's Fish Minnesota page at www.mndnr. gov/fishmn, which includes: *Answers to basic fishing ques- tions. *Fishing terminology and a beginner's guide to fishing. *Metro fishing spots, family- friendly settings, pier locations and places to borrow fishing gear. Got other plans from June 6-8? Even when it's not Take a Kid Fishing Weekend, Minnesota resi- dents generally can fish in state parks without a fishing license if the body of water doesn't require a trout stamp. For more informa- tion, see parks/fishing.html. For those new to fishing, guid- ance can sometimes help. Kids fishing classes from the DNR's "I Can Fish" program run through- out the summer at state parks. For details, see takeakidfishing. "Not only do kids love fishing, but it's rewarding for adults to watch a kid who's all smiles while reeling in a fish, big or small. With school wrapping up for the year, there's no better time than now to get a kid hooked on fishing," Kurre said. How to introduce a kid to fishing On shore as the lake is wanning in the spring, a kid skips stones and occasionally casts a line in the water, while talking to an adult who keeps up casual conversation. Bluegills are the catch of the day. Kids love to fish. Introducing them to fishing can be rewarding. But taking kids fish- ing can present new challenges even for experienced anglers. To help a first-time angler grow into a life-long angler, here are some tips from the Minnesota Department of Go prepared Cold, hot, hungry or bitten is no way to learn how to fish. Remember to bring snacks, sun- screen, insect repellent and first-aid basics to make the trip comfortable for everyone. When considering a location, choose one that is comfortable and safe. Look for restrooms, play- ground equipment, free parking and a public fishing pier. To find a pier nearby, see ing_piers. Natural Resources. M.nllge expectations - including your own Remember, the goal is to have fun, said Roland Sigurdson, MinnAqua education coordinator with the DNR. Realize that children can have short attention spans and may want to move on to something else after a short time. Try looking at bugs or animals or even finding stones to skip. "You can't expect children to have the same level of enthusi- asm you do the fast few trips," Sigurdson said. "Don't make fish- ing a chore for them." Above all, have patience. Lines get snagged, hooks need baiting and kids might get dirty or need help taking a fish offthe line. Don't forget to give congratulations, no matter how big the fish. "Seeing your child enjoy reel- ing in their first fish is rewarding so don't forget to take pictures," Sigurdson said. Simplify gear, catch fish .... Most kids are satisfied catching lots of smaller fish like bluegills rather than fewer, bigger fish like bass. Live bait increases the chanc- es of catching fish. "Kids love to catch fish of any size," Sigurdson said. "They don't usually begin casting for trophies. Catching a few fish on the first few outings will help keep a child look- ing forward to the next outing." Fishing reels, rods and other gear should be simple and in working order. Discouragement sets in fast when children try to use compli- cated equipment or equipment that doesn't work," Sigurdson said. "Consider giving the child their own fishing rod. This gesture is practical because short rods are easier for kids to handle." More information on taking kids fishing can be found on the DNR website at idfishing. DNR QUESTION OF THE WEEK Q: What is Minnesota's tallest tree? A: A white spruce (Picea glau- ca) in Koochiching County was last measured in November 2013 at 130 feet. It was a national champion until 2011 when a taller tree was found in another state. Access to the tree, growing on School Trust Fund land, is diffi- cult. Find more information about big trees in Minnesota at www. Q: What is the difference between a stcelhead and a rain- bow trout? A: Steelhead are a migratory form of rainbow trout that spend part of their lives in the ocean or Great Lakes and return to spawn in freshwater streams and rivers. Steelhead, first introduced to Lake Superior in 1895, occur natural- ly along the Pacific Coast. They have become naturalized along Minnesota's North Shore; the pop- ulation relies mainly on natural reproduction rather than stocking. Spring spawning runs in Minnesota have been delayed this year by our long, cold winter, but steelhead are expected to arrive in streams up and down the North Shore by early to mid-May if the weather cooperates. - Don Schreiner, DNR Lake S AI Bart... "Stories from the BaH Cave" Fashion unconscious I was on a rural highway, work- ing my way home, one job at a time. I was a trucker hauling stories. I tumed off the road into a small town convenience store for iced tea to quench my thirst. I passed a decrepit building on the main street. Deserted buildings are too common these days. One in three of the nation's counties have more deaths than births. The once imposing structure had been reduced to a canvass for spray paint. Someone, probably whip- persnappers, had covered one wall of the suffering edifice in graffiti. There were a few anatomical draw- ings and a plethora of dirty words. The bright side was that all the words were spelled correctly. It was apparent that the little town had a good school. ! found a beverage to my liking and made my way to a checkout lane. The cashier was a friendly young fellow who made the obligatory mention of weather. I replied that I've always found the introduction of spring's warm weather to be hot enough to bring sweat. "I know," he said. "I wish I weren't wearing pants." The conversation ended uncom- fortably. I assumed that he meant "long pants." I'm not qualified to criticize the clothing choices of others. A pheasant rooster flew across the road in front of my car as I continued my journey. I was thankful that we'd not collided. I admired his handsome dress. His plumage was perfectly designed by Mother Nature. He was a dandy exhibiting extreme elegance. I'll never be the best-dressed man in the Easter parade. I've wom a winter coat inside out because my cousin was wear- ing the other side. I'll see myself in a mirror and wonder, "Why is that guy wearing that shirt?" I'm wearing that shirt because it fits. It doesn't need to match what I'm wearing. Color coordination is a mysterious concept to me, like pi to 100 digits. I, like many men, dress by smell. I don't notice color, dirt, or wrin- kles. If it smells OK, I'll wear it. A granddaughter, a seventh grad- er, was issued pants for a school sports team. The seniors were given first choice, juniors second, and she was given last pick. Hers were big enough that she had to sit down twice to hit bottom. I've worn clip-on bowties.A neighbor kid hadone that was ' attached to an elastic band. Bad idea. Other, bigger and older boys, grabbed the bowtie, pulled it away from his neck, and then released it. It snapped back with a vengeance, driving his Adam's apple to places that it hadn't wished to go. My wife told me that her mother had once sewed her into her new Easter dress because she hadn't had the time put on buttons. That's never happened to me. I've never owned more clothes than I could shake a stick at if I were the kind to shake a stick. Most clothes are OK with me. I've worn bell-bottomed trousers, Nehru jackets, leisure suits, and pants with more patches than pants, with- out shame. I've avoided belt buckles the size of satellite TV dishes, but I've worn plastic pocket protectors, puka shells, highwater pants, hand- me-down shirts, soleless shoes, and bad hats. Players on football teams I played on had melons so large their helmets had to be special ordered. They wore two helmets each until the cavernous caps, big enough to sublet, arrived. I still moum a favorite shoe that disappeared into a massive pile of cow manure, having fallen victim to suction and gravity. A neighbor, scout's honor, often wore shoes that didn't match. He didn't care, so no one else should have. The closest I've come to that is wearing a navy blue sock paired with a black sock. I have difficulty telling those two colors of socks apart and need the assistance of a strong, natural light to do so. This is called "sock blindness" and kept me from becoming a fighter pilot. I don't like socks that fall down. That's vhy staplers and duct tape were invented. A granddaughter, asked, ?.? "Grandpa, you never wear black socks with sandals, do you?" She looked worried. The creases in my pants were once so sharp, I sliced ham with them. Not anymore. I should become more fashionable. I lean so far to the casual side that I tip over. Maybe I'll study up on it. Maybe not. I won't change. Adlai Stevenson told of a pris- oner who said to his cellmate, "I'm going to study and improve myself and when you're still a common thief, I'll be an embezzler." A1 Batt 2014 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Ad Representative & Office Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $45.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $49.00 per year. Out of the state $55.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- tion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00. Any request for a back copy must include $3.00. Newstand price is $1.00 per copy. 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