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Free ice fishing for youth, seniors on Saturdays in January

The Star Prairie Fish and Game Association is noted for its trail-blazing ideas in outdoor activities.

So it shouldn't be surprising that the local outdoor group has come up with a new idea to benefit local citizens.

This winter SPF&G is starting a new program, called the Community Fishing Opportunity.

Through the program, youth and senior citizens who wouldn't have the chance to go ice fishing will be taken fishing by SPF&G members. Members will make their heated ice fishing houses available for use each Saturday in January.

"The CFO program will create opportunities to enjoy ice fishing for those that might not otherwise have the means or ability to ice fish on their own," said SPF&G member Jon Bush, who originated the idea.

Bush said he is hoping that 30 youth and 30 seniors will be able to take part in the event during January. SPF&G will supply all fishing equipment and will supply a lunch. The group has also budgeted for fishing licenses for anyone who might need one. SPF&G will transport the youth and seniors on utility vehicles from shore to the ice houses.

For any youth that gets involved, a parent is encouraged to accompany them on the fishing outing.

The idea for the CFO sprouted from a SPF&G meeting a year ago. In typical fashion for the organization, members were asked if the group was doing enough for the community. That got Bush thinking and he came up with the idea to offer free ice fishing.

Bush said SPF&G is known for its innovative ideas and hopes this idea adds to that tradition. He said he would like to see the Department of Natural Resources pick up on the idea and offer it as a state-wide idea.

SPF&G is currently seeking the names of students who might be good candidates for this program. Anyone who would like to be considered, or who would like to nominate a student who might enjoy this type of outing, should contact Bush at 781-2797. The youth should be no younger than 10 years old. Names can also be e-mailed to Bush at