Fifth annual youth fishing clinic June 5

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By Caroline Rosacker 

When you teach a child to fish, you help them unplug from technology, encourage feelings of self confidence, create opportunities for family bonding, and provide teachable moments about the Mississippi River's eco-system, fish species identification and conservation.  

The Guttenberg Motel's fifth annual Youth Fishing Clinic will be held on Saturday, June 5 – rain or shine. Youth ages 18 and under are encouraged to fish on and along the shores of the Mississippi River and ponding areas throughout Guttenberg from 6 a.m. and post their catch of the day by 4 p.m. Winners will be announced at 5 p.m. 

Participants can sign up for the tournament by posting/messaging to the Guttenberg Motel Facebook page or by calling/texting 563-321-1123. Participant T-shirts can be picked up on Thursday, June 3, from 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Scratch Cupcakery will also be at the motel that day from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. There will not be a meeting following this year's event.

The fishing clinic will be held on Iowa’s free fishing weekend so no license is required. Youth anglers are asked to follow all Iowa DNR fishing and boating rules and regulations. "You don't have to be from Guttenberg to participate – campers and kids from out of town can join in the fun too!" said organizers. 

Patty Schwarz, and her husband, Dave, are owners and operators of the Guttenberg Motel. The couple is in their fifth year of sponsorship for the local youth fishing clinic. Schwarz is a member of Guttenberg's Umbrella Arts, Rotary Club, Eagles Club, Chamber of Commerce, Stars and Stripes Committee and Dollars for Scholars. "We enjoy the outdoors so much and want others to enjoy it as well!" said Schwarz. "We especially like to hear that it’s the first time that a youth has ever gone fishing!"

The spirited community volunteer explained the process of setting up a youth tournament. "I apply online at the DNR website, schedule a date, create posters for advertising and do additional promotion for the event," she explained. "Each participant receives a tournament T-shirt and prizes are awarded for trophy fish. The tournament shirts are printed locally at Essers. Matt does a great job! Prizes will include bubble tea, ice cream cones, fishing poles, tackle and lures. We also educate the children about basic river safety and fishing protocol."

The successful clinic has grown in popularity over the past several years. "Last year was our biggest tournament with 81 kids participating!" she exclaimed. Schwarz and her family will judge the catch, which include game and non-game fish in various age groups.  "Our family, my sister and brother-in-law and youngest son will be in town to help us decide who wins the top prizes," said Schwarz. For additional information call 563-321-1123.

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