Ice fishing for the Augustana Outdoor Program included a lot more ice than fish this winter.
The AOP took students to the outdoor campus pond Feb. 11 to learn about ice fishing and general ice safety. While Augustana students did not catch any fish, attendees said the experience was still enjoyable and educational.
“It was just fun to have hope in catching a fish,” Freshman Anela Johnson said. “It was just fun to socialize with others and have a good time.”
Senior Bree Garr, the student AOP director, and four other students joined Sioux Falls community members at the Outdoor Campus to learn the basics of ice fishing. According to Garr, only two students had previous fishing experience, but all five, including Garr, were new to ice fishing.
This was not a problem for the Outdoor Campus staff, who had all the equipment they needed and taught them the ice fishing fundamentals. The educational experience did not require its attendees to have a fishing license, either.
Since the event took place on the Outdoor Campus’s pond, the staff explained the types of fish they keep stocked in the pond and how they relate to the kinds of fish that can be found in regional ponds and lakes.
“I caught a fish, but my hook got attached to the ice so the fish got loose,” Johnson said.
In addition to their instruction on how to ice fish, the Outdoor Campus staff discussed overall safety, like knowing which depths are appropriate for being able to walk or drive on the ice.
If students aren’t keen to fish in the cold, Garr said that AOP has several other monthly events worth attending. The most popular event is college night at Frontier Climbing and Fitness, where on the second Thursday of every month, students can climb for free with their student ID.
Other AOP winter events include archery in the Elmen Center, snowshoeing and ice skating.
Garr also said she also hopes to bring back the trips that AOP used to host over spring and fall break. These included affordable road trips to the Grand Canyon, ski trips to Red Lodge, Montana and more.