Mike Riordan’s memories of growing up in Central Square center on his family and the many hours that his father, Don Riordan, spent with him teaching him how to fish. When his father passed away several years ago, Mike made it his mission to share his lifetime of fishing memories and knowledge with others.
Through the “Angler’s Legacy” project, Mike made the commitment to introduce at least one person to fishing each year. He and his wife, Wendy organized their first free fishing seminar at the Calvary Baptist Church in Brewerton in 2007. Their goal was to teach at least 50 people how to fish. The crowd has grown every year, and Riordan expects 350 people to attend this year on Saturday, March 31.
The seminar opens at 9 a.m. and continues to 3 p.m., with an hour break for lunch. The church is located at the intersection of Mud Mill Road and U.S. Route 11 in Brewerton.
The event includes demonstrations by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, instructional seminars, live fish, bait demonstrations, crafts and games and a spooling station to re-line fishing reels. Everyone that attends will receive a “Getting Started Beginners Guide to Freshwater Fishing” book published by the NYS DEC, as well as a tackle pack. There will be door prizes and a complete tackle box given to a family that attends the seminar.
The Oswego County Tourism Office will sponsor outdoor writer and author Spider Rybaak from 9 a.m. to noon at the seminar. Rybaak will speak about opportunities for families to fish from shore at locations around Oswego County. He will distribute a variety of tackle donated by manufacturers to children, the new Oswego County Fishing and Hunting Guide, and other materials.
Riordan explained that after the first event, the Calvary Baptist Church added this event to their annual calendar. The church and its members are the primary sponsor and donated prizes, pizza and snacks. Pastor Bruce Havens indicated that the event complements the mission of outreach to the community.
“I cannot express enough thanks to the 40-plus volunteers that help make this event possible,” said Riordan. “The target audience is families and beginner fishermen. It is my desire to help parents and kids become familiar with the basics, so they can go to the local park, river, lake or fishing hole and have a successful time of fishing. This will give parents and children enough time to learn about the sport and try their hand at it before the April 1 trout opener.”
The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 668-9790 or visit http://www.cbcbrewerton.org/index.php For current Oswego County fishing conditions, call 1-800-248-4FUN or go to www.visitoswegocounty.com