Valley kids get hooked on fishing at annual festival

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

TEMPE, Ariz.  -- Kiwanis Park hosted the 23rd annual Anglers United "Just for Kids" Fishing Festival on Saturday, giving kids a chance to learn basic fishing techniques and test their skills.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department stocked the lake Friday with catfish and bluegill for the event.

No licenses were required and limited fishing equipment was available for free.

Anglers United hosts the festival each year to teach children about both fishing and the outdoors.

"We want to provide children with the opportunity to learn how to fish -- something they may not have done or wouldn't get to do otherwise," Anglers United Chairman Martin Jones said in a statement.

Jones said even if the kids aren't interested in fishing, the event allows them to experience the outdoors and learn to appreciate Arizona's natural beauty.

"The long-term goal is to get the kids kind of away from the computers and away from the Nintendo and let them know that the sky is still blue and the grass is still green," said Gary Smith with Anglers United.