A new Brooklyn Park neighborhood pond stocked with bluegills and perch is expected to draw kids who have limited chances to fish anywhere else, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said.

With limited nearby angling spots, Brooklyn Park Police and the DNR Enforcement Division developed the idea of a city, community, and DNR partnership to create a purpose-built fishing pond.

“We found tremendous support of the concept and many jumped on board to help ensure the project was successful,” said 1st Lt. Todd Kanieski, a DNR conservation officer.

DNR’s Fishing in the Neighborhood (FiN) program was a perfect fit. “The program basically brings fishing close to families and children who do not have the opportunity to go ‘up north’ and get on a boat to go fishing,” said Leah Weyandt, a DNR fisheries specialist in St. Paul.

The new pond was stocked this spring with 807 bluegills and 572 yellow perch, with plans to restock the pond with bluegills every spring and with yellow perch every spring or fall.

Weyandt said the project built strong ties between the DNR, the city of Brooklyn Park and many area businesses and organizations that care about children.

“They want what’s best for the health of the community and are devoted to creating outdoor opportunities,” Weyandt said. “This FiN pond is going to be a focal point of the city of Brooklyn Park for years to come and I’m excited to see how much interest in the outdoors and fishing is going to grow in this area.”

The kick-off event to debut the new pond will be June 26 when 150 Brooklyn Park kids will go fishing with “cops” thanks to efforts of area businesses, organizations, the city of Brooklyn Park and the DNR.

The “Cops-n-Kids” fishing event, for youth ages 7-12, is partnering with the DNR’s FiN program to increase angling opportunities, public awareness and environmental stewardship within the seven-county metro region. The event is 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. in front of the Brooklyn Park Community Activity Center, 5600 85th Ave. N.

During the event each child is paired with a Brooklyn Park police officer or a DNR conservation officer. Each child also will receive a rod and reel and other potential prizes.

The FiN program was started in 2001 to increase fishing license sales and angler recruitment. Today, there are 65 FiN ponds with fishing piers or shore fishing stations in the metro area.

Along with managing the ponds, Weyandt noted the FiN program also conducts more than 100 events each year involving many aquatic educational activities as well as fishing.

For more information on the FiN program, go to: www.mndnr.gov/fishing/fin.

Logo courtesy Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

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