May 19th, 2015

By Jon Wogen, TBC board member, and printed with permission from the Renville County Register

People who have kids that want to fish or learn to fish probably have good gear for their kids. Any young fisherman can learn to cast with a push-button reel on his rod. Older kids can learn with an open-face spinning outfit very easily. The outfit should be equipped with four to six pound test line, a hook or small jig, a split shot if using only a hook, and a small bobber to hold the hook or jig where you want to fish it.

For kids whose families can’t afford to equip their kids with fishing tackle, Social Services of Renville County has a lot of ready-to-fish outfits to get your kids started. These are provided by Renville County residents who want to get kids outdoors and fishing. There are also a few challenged people whose advisors are using some of these rods to get their clients outdoors to fish.

Most fishermen who use the outfit described above, will also add a worm or minnow to the hook or jig as flavor for the fish to be attracted to. Artificial plastic minnows and worms can be used if one is somewhat “expert” in fishing these things.

O.K., now we have the outfit for the kids. Where can we go to fish? Experienced fishermen know about the many lakes in Kandiyohi County that are loaded with fish. There are quite a few places where the public can access water to fish there. There are fishing docks or piers in Foot Lake, Andrew Lake and Green lake and others. There are also public access points in Sibley State Park and Kandiyohi County parks throughout the county.

But, if one doesn’t want to drive up there, you can get your kids a place to fish right here in Olivia. Everybody is welcome to bring their kids over to Olivia to fish. The Minnesota DNR stocks catchable size fish each year.

It is possible that the stocking of fish will be delayed this year as the water levels are so low due to the drought we have been in since last fall. But, we will keep you posted when the stocking is done.

Bring your kids over to the new park area surrounding the stormwater retention pond located just west of Highway 71 in west Olivia. An access point is located right by Highway 71 where the storm water runs into the pond through a large culvert under the highway. Another access point is at West Park, which is attached to the Pond Park on the south side of the pond. See the map that was published before in the Renville County Register.

The current coming into the pond at the culvert by Highway 71 is one very popular place to fish. The kids have discovered the convenience of this area and the crappies are also attracted to the fresh water flowing in there, if it rains.

As fishermen know, the fish move in schools around the pond and eventually when one is fishing, the fish come by to provide you some action. Patience is often rewarded. The crappies and bullheads are the main fish in the pond. A few fish survive over winter in this pond and have grown to nice size. A recently caught 13 inch long crappie had been in the pond for two years. With the shallow water since we are in a drought, the fish have to battle thick ice in winter and too-warm water in the summer unless we get rain to fill the pond to “pool level”, of five feet.

A “bonus fish” was placed into the pond early last year, a nice size northern pike, but we don’t know if it survived the winter or not. If it did, it should be even bigger than when stocked and might be worth a big fish story if caught, or hooked and lost. Pike cut off lots of fish line and get away to fight another day. This surprise fish might cause lots of stories and legends if it is tangled with by a kid some day.

Parents, make sure you get your youngsters over to the Olivia pond, no matter where you are from. Everyone is welcome to come to the new Pond Park. Here you can not only fish, but hike the trail around the pond, or sit and meditate at the pond where it is very quiet and is a nice place to just watch the water, especially at sunset..

Dog walkers should make sure they carry the infamous plastic bag to pick up after their dogs as hikers and fishermen prefer to NOT step in dog doo doo. Personal responsibility is important to maintenance of a pleasant place for people.

Wildlife watchers have several species of birds to view and enjoy at Pond Park too. The Canada geese were there early this spring, planning to raise their young at this place. They have been seen less and less and may have abandoned the pond for this year. Too many running dogs may have sent them to a “safer” place to raise their young. There are also a couple of pairs of ducks that may raise young there this year.

We recommend watching the sun go down over the pond as one meditates and ponders the world today. Perhaps the peace and tranquility of this place will bring you back time after time.

Whatever you do, make sure your youngsters get exposed to the Pond Park and the fishing there. As we said above, the pond may not be stocked until rains fill the pond again, but become acquainted with the place as a walking and meditation place anyway. There are still some fish that have survived winters in that pond.

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