Elks Lodge stocks 500 pounds of fish for young anglers
MOHAVE COUNTY – It was all smiles at the Kingman Elks Lodge No. 468’s annual Fishing For Smiles children’s fishing day held Saturday, Aug. 17 at Dunton Ranch located off Fort Rock Ranch Road.
More than 150 children signed up for the Saturday free fishing day and a hoard of enthusiastic parents, relatives, friends and children showed up at the event to show support for the anglers and were treated to a free lunch.
In addition to Saturday’s event, about 100 special-needs children and adults, and their family members, were treated Tuesday, Aug. 20 to a day of fishing and lunch at Dunton Ranch located about 41 miles east of Kingman.
The smiling kids ranging from 2-17 years old, and adults who helped their children, tested their luck and skill on some of the more than 500 pounds of channel catfish, some weighing up to 5 pounds, that had been stocked in the pond at the ranch courtesy of the Elks lodge.
The Elks Lodge partnered with Scott Dunton, who owns the 25,000-acre ranch, the Mohave Sportsman Club, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Arizona Sportsman For Wildlife Conservation and various other individuals and businesses to help make the fun-filled day a success for all attendees.
Cost of the fish and the food for the humans did not cost the Elks Lodge anything. The Mohave Sportsman Club was instrumental is getting a $3,600 grant from Arizona Sportsman For Wildlife Conservation that defrayed the cost of the two fishing days.
“If the children didn’t bring their own fishing poles,” said long-time Elks member Bob Kay, “the Arizona Game and Fish Department brought and loaned out adequate supplies and bait so every child could enjoy a day of fishing.
“The Elks Lodge has been involved in the fishing day for the children for more than 20 years,” Kay said. “and the event has gone through various name changes and locations, but for the last 11 years, it has been called Fishing For Smiles.”
The fishing day has been held at the Dunton Ranch for the past five years and owner Scott Dunton donates the location. Both Scott Dunton and his son Scotty Dunton, who is the ranch manager, were all smiles as they watched the kids catch the hungry catfish.
“I think the volunteers did a great job putting on the event and everyone who participated had a great time,” said Elks Lodge officials. “We are certain this will continue to be an annual event for all to enjoy.”