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Children enjoy a day on the ice at Perch Lake

Ayla Stoner of Hudson had the second largest fish -- a 216-gram bass which was released. She got the day sticker/boat rental for Homestead. She has been ice fishing for three years.

St. Croix County Parks Department teamed up with the St. Croix Sportsman Alliance to organize a kids' fishing contest at Perch Lake on Saturday, Feb. 23. The two-hour contest was open to children ages 6 to 12 years.

Eager to try their hand at the sport, 58 kids checked in learn about ice fishing. They kept volunteers from St. Croix Sportsman Alliance, Parks Department and Friends of Perch Lake very busy drilling/clearing holes and giving advice. Most had not previously enjoyed the sport. Over 80 holes were drilled in the ice giving participants a chance to move to perhaps better fishing grounds.

The Alliance supplied a gift bag for each child filled with DNR information as well as an ice fishing pole for a prize. The parks department donated a day pass and boat rental for Homestead Parklands, a county park on Perch Lake. Nearby business Bass Lake Cheese Factory donated cheese as a prize. The Friends of Perch Lake donated two T-shirts as door prize drawings. The first time event was deemed a success as nearly 200 parents, siblings, participants and volunteers showed up.

See page 7A of the Feb. 28 print edition of the Hudson Star-Observer for more photos from this event.