COLUMBIA FALLS – The recent opening of the Columbia Falls Community Fishing Pond showed the excitement people have for local places to fish.
Community ponds provide a place for many kids to catch their first fish.
“Well, you can see these kids come out here and throw a line out there and within a couple casts they are catching stuff and the lightbulb goes off and immediately they are hooked on fishing,” Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks spokesman Dillon Tabish said.
The recently opened Columbia Falls Community Pond will make it easier for families to get outside.
“Sometimes families need a spot that’s close to town, close to home, they don’t have the means maybe to drive an hour or hike an hour into the woods to go fishing,” Tabish said.
“And so, these community ponds provide an awesome nearby experience for those families to get outside together,” he added.
FWP helped fund the Columbia Falls Community Pond — and many others like it across the state.
“[The] Community Pond Program has been around for a long time. We’ve funded anything from the Miles City area all the way up to Troy, explained FWP’s Eric Roberts.
“And over the last few years, that process has got much more competitive to the point where we had to turn away a lot of good projects because we didn’t have the funding,” he added.
So, through the last legislature, FWP expanded its Community Pond Program, allowing for more opportunities in the future.
“We are pretty excited to have this increase in funding; the demand is there,” Roberts said. “People are submitting for these good projects and we are excited to be able to fund more of these projects.”
Providing more community ponds will also help create more happy anglers.
“These community ponds are a great way to show you don’t have to have a whole lot of resources to be able to go fishing, you just need the opportunity,” Roberts concluded.
-Winston Greeley reporting for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks