By Patrick Lynn
After skipping last summer due to COVID-19, the annual Cops-n-Bobbers is scheduled at Bukolt Park on June 5.
Returning for its 12th annual event, the program 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 County Deputy Eric Koepsell. The daylong fishing event provides children ages 3-15 and their parents a chance to enjoy a free day of catch-and-release fishing 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 also assists with serving lunch.
Officers from the Stevens Point Police Dept., Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources, 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 the state’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.
How to register
Registration is open through May 20. Call 715.346.1425 or email [email protected] and provide your name, contact information, number of attendees, a t-shirt sizes. Registrants should also indicate if they need any fishing equipment. Bait will also be provided.
Check-in will be at 8:30 a.m. at the park on June 5.
The catch-and-release tournament-styl event will be held 9-11 a.m. on June 5, with lunch and prizes to follow in the Bukolt pavilion. All participants will receive a t-shirt.
Indoor and outdoor seating will be available so attendees can social distance appropriately and follow the current health department guidelines.