Posted: 02/10/2022 16:40:52
Modified: 02/10/2022 16:39:12
ASHFIELD – As a certified MassWildlife Angler Instructor, teacher and former biologist, Alia Woofenden is passionate about connecting children to nature and making fishing more widely accessible.
“My goal is to get as many kids out as possible, hoping to find new hobbies,” said Woofenden, who is hosting a free ice fishing clinic for beginners on Saturday.
The clinic, organized in conjunction with the Mohawk Trail Regional School District, where Woofenden is the liaison for community engagement and enrichment programs, will be held in Ashfield Lake from 8 a.m. to noon. Participants will meet at the lake house dock and equipment will be provided.
As Woofenden explained, ice fishing is usually only available to those who grew up with someone to teach them the sport. The goal of Saturday’s clinic is to provide people with the opportunity to learn the technique of ice fishing, especially those who may not have the resources to try it out for themselves. . This will mark Woofenden’s third year teaching the workshop – the first year came after she realized there were no fishing instructors west of the Connecticut River, and she wanted to share his expertise with students and families.
Lake Ashfield is a good ice fishing spot for beginners, Woofenden said, because it’s home to a wide variety of fish species, has easy access to parking, and is fairly clean, so it’s safe to eat. the fish that swim there. The lake is also often used for swimming and boating during the warmer months.
Topics covered during Saturday’s clinic will include the basics of ice safety, fishing laws and regulations, and the equipment needed to get started. The bait was provided by Round Back Bait and Tackle in Williamsburg, and no experience is required.
Woofenden also runs spring and summer fishing programs, serving its goal of introducing children and families to fishing and other outdoor activities. She works with all five schools in the Mohawk Trail Regional School District and with K-12 students.
“I help integrate our schools into their communities,” Woofenden said.
Anyone interested in signing up for the Ice Fishing Clinic can email Woofenden at [email protected].