School Fishing Program

Updated Tuesday January 24, 2017 by Stanley Park.

Each year the Stanley Park Optimist Club sponsors a program (through the schools) to encourage local students to get out and experience the joys of fishing.  Initiated by Optimist member Ron Bauman, the program has expanded to include more schools each year under his guidance and leadership.

This program receives support from many sponsors including the following: the City of Cambridge Parks & Rec. Dept., Bob & Wayne Izumi, Natural Sports (Kitchener), Catch'em Bait & Tackle (Kitchener), Tall Tales Bait & Tackle, Pure Fishing, Cam Thomson, Keith Robinson's Fish Ponds, the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters, the Kids & Cops Fishing Program, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, & Bill Thompson and his fishing buddies.  We thank all these individuals & organizations - and the many others not mentioned here as well - for their help in making this program not only possible but also enjoyable for so many of our community's youth. Thanks!

We're back on-track in 2017  - on a more limited basis -- for fishing experiences with Ron and, hopefully, lots of fish just waiting to join in the fun! It's a live-release event that everyone can truly enjoy. 


In 2011 the students of Mrs. Watson's class (Sheppard School, Cambridge) caught the largest fish ever in the School Fishing Program's history - a 32 1/2" carp!  Congratulations - well done!  (See the photo in the photo album under PHOTOS or slide show below.)

In 2010 Ron was back at it with classes and students from local elementary and high schools - LOTS of them.  Some of the groups are shown in the photo slide show and album with their fish.  Thanks to all the teachers and helpers for their on-site assistance and encouragement with our young fishing enthusiasts.  

(2009 saw a break in this program as Ron dealt with some health issues so he could carry on in future years.)

 On June 20 (2008), students of Lackner Woods caught a  29 1/2" carp (see photo album) and ended up with the 2nd place trophy. The biggest catch for 2008, 30" carp by students of St Daniel's School, is also in the photo album as are photos of the trophy presentations: Lackner School is featured as is one showing Mr. Donaldson with the Championship trophy won by St Daniel's (but taken at his new school, Our Lady of Lourdes, with students that he plans to guide in future fishing program).

  On June 21 (2007), students of St Daniel's school caught the biggest fish, a 31 1/2" carp and now have the trophy to prove it.  (see photo selection)


Note re: photo slide show:  Flashplayer required.  Click on photo - links to larger sized photos. Caption "on/off " is is at bottom left of photos.

by Carrie Debrone (2006) - Now, Kitchener Citizen (East Edition)

    Two students from St. Patrick’s Catholic School were presented with trophies for their catch of a 28-inch carp while fishing at the Speed River at Riverside Park in Preston last June.

    The fishing team of Daniel Brilhante and Jacob O'King made the amazing catch while participating in the 2006 Stanley Park Optimist Fishing Program - a program offered annually to schools in the Stanley Park area of Kitchener. As part of the program, students who catch the largest fish are awarded a first place trophy. “It was quite remarkable. This was the first fish either one of them had ever caught and they were really excited,” said teacher Brian Goodyear whose class participated in the program last spring. 

   Sponsored by the Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Bob Izumi’s Real Fishing Show and Natural Sports, the annual program which introduces elementary school children to the sport of fishing is sometimes combined with activities linked to school curriculum such as studies of river habitat, or offered as a special end-of-theschool-year outing. Last year, children from 14 local schools in grades 3, 4, 5 and 6 participated. Students fish with rods, barbless hooks and worms. Optimist Club member and Program Coordinator, Ron Bauman, who has been introducing young people to fishing for 16 years, presented trophies, hats and shirts to the boys on Oct. 25 at St. Patrick’s School and also gave hats to all their former class mates who were on hand to watch as boys reeled in the large fish. 

      “We hope that this program will allow kids to get out and enjoy nature and to learn about the sport of fishing. About half of every class we take out has usually never fished before,” Bauman said. “Some schools allow the students to bring their parents along and it’s just a great day out enjoying nature. We hope that maybe some of these children will go on to enjoy fishing when they become adults,” he said. 

      Bauman is now busy arranging some school fishing dates for the 2017 Fishing Program, which begins in May. Only a imited number of bookings will be available so best check in with Ron ASAP if interested.

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