Article Posted: July 21, 2003

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COLUMBUS, OH -- Kids can fish free on selected Lake Erie fishing
charters from August 11-15 when accompanied by a paying adult as part of a
program sponsored by the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association.
During "Kids Fish Free" week, adults booking a charter through the
charter boat association hotline will be able to bring one youngster aged 17
or under at no charge for each paying adult. For a standard six-person
fishing charter, a party consisting of three adults and three youths would
pay half the normal charter fee since the three youngsters fish free.
The toll free number is 1-800-287-1020 and reservations can be made
up until the start of "Kids Fish Free" week, August 11 to 15.
The Lake Erie Charter Boat Association started the Kids Fish Free
program last summer to honor one of its founding members, the late Jim
Fofrich, Sr. As an active proponent of Lake Erie fishing, Fofrich promoted
the concept of lowering rates to encourage families to bring their kids
along on Lake Erie fishing trips. In 2002, Frofrich was inducted into the
Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame.
"In memory of Jim and to show our respect for his accomplishments
and efforts, we wanted to kickoff the free fishing program for kids in his
honor," said Mike Matta, treasurer of the charter boat captains.
ODNR's Division of Wildlife, co-sponsors of the event, will
contribute fishing brochures and information. Charter boat captains will
give each participating youth a certificate.
"We commend the Lake Erie Charter Boat Association's leadership role
in providing this youth fishing opportunity," said Steven A. Gray, chief of
ODNR's Division of Wildlife. "Lake Erie is one of the world's finest
fisheries and this is a great way for many families to experience this
natural resource treasure for the first time."
The special "Kids Fish Free" charter trips will be spent on western
Lake Erie, departing from the Port Clinton area. Fishing trips can be
scheduled for walleye, smallmouth bass, yellow perch or a combination of
those species.
More than 400 member charter captains will be participating in the
program and all will provide the fishing tackle and equipment for the kids
on their boats.
Recent reports from charter boat captains and Division of Wildlife
creel surveys show that walleye, smallmouth bass, and yellow perch fishing
remains excellent in the western and central basins of Lake Erie, with
several reports of trophy-sized walleye and yellow perch being caught.

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