Cast your line for a July snow date.

Start fishing for prizes...

"This is the 16th year we've held the contest, and it's been rescheduled from May, when we had that big snowstorm," said Minnesota Trout Association (MTA) member Roger Skove, anticipating the free kids' fishing contest set for this Saturday, July 20, at Mill Creek Park.

Skove explained that the Department of Natural Resources stocks trout in the creek so the kids will have rainbow trout to catch.

Everything is free, and the kids are given tips about fishing and get a bag with things for fishing. Skove added that there are prizes and everyone seems to have a great time fishing together.

"The point is that if you get a kid fishing at the age of 5 or 6, he or she might become a fisherman for the rest of his or her life," Skove said regarding the reason behind holding the contest. The trout association sponsors this contest with the city of Chatfield. "That means they become concerned about the resources, so the more kids you get fishing, the more likely that someone will care about the streams."

Participants are asked to bring a fishing rod, reel with line and some bait. The MTA will furnish extra rods and reels for young anglers who do not have their own tackle.

Children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian, people to help them learn how to cast, reel in and handle fishing rods, hopefully with a fish on the hook at the end of the day.

Skove stated, "We have about 70 kids each year, and at least 40 to 50 catch a fish. No matter what, they still get something to take home, but when they've caught a fish, they should bring their largest one to be measured for the contest."

The contest is open to children 12 and under, and registration is slated for 9 a.m. Categories are for ages 6 and under, 7 to 9, and 10 to 12. At 9:50 a.m., there's a drawing for the ready-to-fish rod and reel combination, and from 10 a.m. to noon, it's all about fishing.

The largest trout caught earns the little anglers the honor of "catching the big fish," with an announcement made for each category's winners at 12:10 p.m., followed by free lunch of hot dogs, potato chips and beverages.

Mill Creek Park is located west of Chatfield just off County Road 2 at the edge of town.