Youth tackle fishing at annual clinic

By Clarence Plank: PNT staff writer

Nito Lovato, and his son Emilio, 10, both of Portales, spent Saturday morning learning where fish live and how to tie knots.

The occasion: The 18th annual Fishing Clinic at Oasis State Park.

More than 230 children, parents, Oasis staff and volunteers joined them on a warm sunny day to fish.

“It was really good,” Lovato said. “I think the children learned a lot. They taught how to tie knots, fly fish and fillet a fish.”

Emilio won a tackle box as part of the door prizes for the children participating in the clinic.

Emilio has been fishing for six years and this is his first time at the fishing clinic with his dad.

“It was kind of cool how they teach you all kinds of things,” he said. “Also being able to learn more about fishing. I’m into fishing a lot more since I did the clinic.”

Park staff, Friends of Oasis State Park and members of the Retired Senior Volunteers Program of Portales and helped put the Fishing Clinic together.

Phyllis Roybal of the Community Service Center and the Retired Senior Volunteers Program served the children, parents, grandparents, volunteers, Oasis staff food after the clinic.

Roybal said the volunteers have been helping the park for 15 years.

Younger siblings of the children participating in the clinic were given prizes so they wouldn’t feel left out.

Park Manager Jim Whary called the clinic a big success.

“It went extremely well,” Whary said. “It was very successful. The parents had a great time and every child received something.”

Door prizes included fishing poles, skateboards, sleeping bags, binoculars and tackle boxes. The items were purchased through the Friends of Oasis State Park, who collected donations from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3280 in Clovis.

Aileen Eastwood, president of the Friends of Oasis State Park, said her organization collected plenty of canned food — the price to participate — for area food banks.