Grant helps TES students ‘go fishing’

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, October 6, 2016

About 135 sixth-grade students at Troy Elementary School are skipping school next Thursday to go fishing.

But, their physical education teacher will be along to make sure their fishing excursion is done by the books.

Forrest Lee’s physical education students are excited and anxious in anticipation of their day of fishing at Pike County Lake.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

For some of the students, this will be their first fishing trip. For many, it will be their first visit to newly renovated Pike County Lake. For all, it will be an adventurous day of learning.

Lee said the “Trojan Fishing/Boating Expo” is being made possible through a grant from the Troy City School Education Foundation in the amount of $1,466.

“This will be a fun field trip and an educational field trip,” Lee said. “The students have been learning about fishing equipment, angling and removing fish from the hook in preparation for the fishing trip. But they will learn a lot more at the Trojan Fishing/Boating Expo. And, by going to Pike County Lake, the students will be more aware of the assets available here in Pike County.”

Lee said the Expo will feature 11 stations and the students will visit each in round-robin rotation.

“The grant funds have been used in different ways,” Lee said. “We have rented eight boats and the students will be divided into teams to learn about boat safety. At the boating station, an adult will be in each boat and two kids, wearing life jackets, will ride at a time. The adult will troll them across the lake and back. This might be the first time some of the kids have ridden in a boat.

Representatives of the Marine Police will talk with the students about boat laws and regulations on area lakes including Gantt and Eufaula and on rivers. They will learn about the ecology as it relates to bodies of water.

“The students will learn how to clean fish – catfish, bream and bass,” Lee said. “One station will have a cooker and the students will learn about outdoor cooking safety. Catfish fillets will be battered and fried and the students will get to sample the fish.”

The South Alabama Electric Co-op employees will teach the students about the dangers of electricity around water.

The Pike County Sheriff’s Department has three certified divers and the students will be introduced to them and learn about search and rescue efforts.

“And, of course, we’ll have a station where the students can actually fish,” Lee said. “We have purchased catfish from Sutton’s Fishery that will be contained in a netted area in the pond making them easier for the students to catch.”

The students will have catfish for lunch and then have the opportunity to “go fishing” once again.

“We will use some of the grant funds to buy fishing permits for students who are over the age 12 as way of encouraging them to ‘go fishing,’” Lee said. “Children under the age of 12 can fish without a permit as long as they are with an adult.”

On behalf, of the 135 kids who will go fishing Thursday, Lee expressed appreciation to the TCS Education Foundation, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Freshwater Fisheries, the teachers and parents and all the volunteers for making the fishing day possible.