Little anglers are the focus of a promotional day at the San Luis Reservoir this weekend.
The 24th annual Kids' Fish, Swim and Play Day, hosted by California's Department of Water Resources and state parks staff and volunteers, is planned at San Luis Creek on the O'Neill Forebay on Saturday.
"It's been going for a lot of years and it's loads of fun," said Jennifer Morgan, a California State Park interpreter.
Children from 3 to 15 can sign in from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fishermen must provide the rod and reel, but the bait is free. And there is an incentive to be early.
"The first 75 kids will get a free tackle box and lure," Morgan said.
Morgan said the turnout differs from year to year, and spans the range of a few dozen to more than 100. She's added swimming to the events of the day to cast a wider net.
A lifeguard will not be on duty. Officials recommend bringing sunscreen and folding chairs.
Other free activities and food are planned, including strawberries and whipped cream, pontoon-boat rides and a fishing simulator. Morgan said the boat rides are contingent on the weather, and those who show up early have the best chance to get a ride.
Gyotaku, the Japanese art of fish printing, will be offered, as well as other crafts.
Morgan said soda and hot dogs will be on sale for those who show up without a lunch.
This program has been scheduled for May because it is Water Awareness Month.
To reach the San Luis Creek area from the Los Banos area, travel west on Highway 152. Exit at the San Luis Creek turnoff at the O'Neill Forebay, approximately 7 miles west of Interstate 5, and follow the signs.
There is a $10 state park day use fee per car.
Los Banos Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.