Lt. Trina James and her emotional support dog, Tucker, made an appearance at the 2023 Cops-n-Bobbers event at Lake Pacawa Park in Plover. (Metro Wire photo)

Cops-n-Bobbers opens registration for Lake Pacawa event in June

By Brandi Makuski

PLOVER — Registration is now open for Cops-n-Bobbers 2024.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 1, from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Lake Pacawa Park in Plover.

The venture, hosted jointly by local law enforcement agencies, pairs area kids with officers and deputies from the Plover and Stevens Point Police Departments, the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office, UW-Stevens Point police, and wardens from the Wisconsin DNR, for a day of fishing and fun.

It’s the 15th year that Plover Officer Seth Pionke and Portage Co. Sheriff’s Deputy Eric Koepsell have organized the event, which invites families to take advantage of the Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources’ free fishing weekend, and in the process, have some positive interaction with local law enforcement, and a free lunch provided by the Stevens Point Elks Lodge 641.

Different this year, Pionke said, is the manner of registration. Instead of calling or emailing, Pionke and Koepsell want people to sign up online via this link. 

Cops-n-Bobbers continues to exceed expectations each year, Pionke said. Over 400 signed up in 2023 — more than 220 were kids — compared to 205 kids and 189 parents or guardians in 2022. In 2021, 176 were registered.

In 2023, the event relocated from Bukolt Park in Stevens Point to the newly renovated Lake Pacawa Park in Plover. Pionke said the event was moved for several reasons, including more space for young anglers to spread out and more parking.

About 30 volunteers, including Elks members, off-duty officers, and family members, help operate the event. Several on-duty law enforcement officers attend to help make a positive impact on children on their families from across the county, Pionke said.

Registration is available here.