One week left to register for Cops-n-Bobbers

By Brandi Makuski

Local law enforcement agencies are inviting area kids for a day of free fishing.

Returning for its 13th annual event, Cops-n-Bobbers is an attempt to get kids “hooked” on fishing—and have positive interaction with local law enforcement.

The program was launched in 2008 by Plover Police Officer Seth Pionke and Portage Co. Deputy Eric Koepsell. The event provides children ages 3-15 and their parents a chance to enjoy a free day of catch-and-release fishing at Bukolt Park with local law enforcement.

“Building bonds between children and their parents is important, so each child will have a parent or guardian with him or her,” a press release from Koepsell reads in part. “The program gets kids ‘hooked’ on fishing, not drugs or violence.”

The program is made possible, according to Koepsell, thanks in part to a $2,000 grant from the Stevens Point Elks Lodge No. 641. The Lodge will also provide a free lunch for all attendees.

Officers from the Stevens Point Police Dept., Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, UWSP Police Department, and other local law enforcement agencies will also be participating in the event.

There is no cost to participate, and no fishing license is required as the event is always held during WisDNR’s free fishing weekend, but registration is required.

Lunch and t-shirts will be provided, along with a limited amount of fishing equipment upon request, and fishing bait.

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, June 4. Check-in is at 8:30 a.m. Tournament-style, catch-and-release fishing will be from 9 to 11 a.m., with prizes and lunch to follow.

Registration is required by May 20. To register, email Koepsell at [email protected] and include your name, number of attendees, t-shirt sizes for kids (youth and adult S-XXL), and contact information.

Koepsell said indoor and outdoor seating will be available so everyone can social distance appropriately and follow the current health department guidelines.