Fishing for Fun children's backpacks, created by the Friends of the Upper Mississippi Fishery Services, are now available for free checkout at some local libraries, elementary schools, the EcoPark and Family Resource centers.
Each backpack includes a fishing pole, minnow and bug net, fish ID cards, maps of fishing holes, Wisconsin fishing regulations, a how-to-fish book, thermometer, compass, magnifying glass, bug viewer and jar, scavenger hunt, mussel shells and more to connect kids with nature fun in the Coulee Region.
Agencies with Fishing for Fun backpacks are: public libraries in La Crosse, Onalaska, Holmen, West Salem, La Crescent, Galesville, Hillsboro, Independence, Alma, Norwalk, Strum and Sparta, and Hokah and Caledonia, Minn.; Roosevelt, Franklin, State Road, Hintgen, Emerson, Hamilton, North Woods and Summit elementary schools in La Crosse; Myrick Hixon EcoPark; and Family Resource centers in La Crosse, Sparta and Tomah.
The 32 backpacks are funded by public and private grants from Rotary, Walmart, La Crosse Public Education Foundation and others.
For information, call Heidi Keuler at (608) 783-8417.