Girl’s First Fish Highlights “Welcome Back the Trout” to Tempe Town Lake Fesitval

ImageTEMPE —  Three minutes after sliding a glob of Power Bait onto a tiny hook, 5-year-old Joy Moreno hauled in a 10-inch rainbow trout. The words that followed were those of a fanatic angler.

“Put more bait on my hook,” she said.

With that, an angler was born on Tuesday, Nov. 26.

And there was Moreno, jumping and smiling after catching the fish. It was her first.

The “Welcome Back the Trout” to Tempe Town Lake festival, hosted by the City of Tempe and the  Arizona Game and Fish Department, featured a Page Springs Hatchery stocking of 3,000 rainbow trout.

See video of fish being shot into the lake and hand-stocked by kids.

As the setting sun spread an orange crest over the Tempe skyline, carving dark silhouettes out of more than 100 anglers who laced the lake’s northern shoreline, families and friends gathered for the free fishing clinic. Even more, they celebrated the first of five monthly scheduled trout stockings.

Ivan Moreno, father of Joy Moreno, continued talking about the day that will be a lifelong memory. A nip of wind came with a few clouds and enough sun to drive warmth into knot-tying fingers.

“I take my kids fishing every year,” Ivan Moreno said. “Since I was a boy and my dad taught me to hunt and fish, there has just been this awesome peace I get with it that I just can’t explain.  This is a good way to share that with my family.”

Awesome peace found Carissa Steinborn. A mom of one daughter (age 10), and two boys (ages 7 and 5), Steinborn moved to Arizona four years ago. She left her fishing equipment in North Dakota. She wished she wouldn’t have. “It’s just a misconception that there aren’t good fishing opportunities here,” she said.

Department employees and volunteers doled out free bags of bait — corn, Power Bait and worms. Loaner rods were provided. No license was necessary to those who registered. Come and get it.

“So to be able to use this equipment is awesome,” Steinborn said. “This just helps us be outside more instead of in the classroom. This used to be a way of life for me. I grew up fishing and I want them to have this opportunity.”

Tempe Town Lake is considered a state water, but as of Jan. 1, it will be Community Fishing Program water (what is now called an Urban Fishing Program water.)

Tempe Town Lake also offers abundant bass, bluegill, catfish and carp.

See more information on obtaining a license for future use.

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