SARDIS — The Monroe County Soil and Water Conservation District is ready for its third annual Outdoor Day.
The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Monroe Park and Marina, located just south of Duffy on Ohio 7.
Katie Kovaly, program coordinator for the Monroe County SWCD, said the free event gives residents of all ages the chance to experience the great outdoors and what it has to offer. A number of outdoor activities are planned throughout the day.
“Our goal is to educate youth and adults on what opportunities are available in Monroe County and surrounding areas for outdoor recreation, and provide some hands-on education opportunities. It’s a family fun, outdoor event where they can experience or learn new things,” she said.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m. with the Passport to Fishing Class for kids ages 5-17. Kovaly said they do require registration for the class so they can provide enough fishing poles to participants. Each participant will receive a free fishing pole and lunch.
A demonstration by Ohio Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Officer Chris Gilkey and K-9 Mattis will follow at 11 a.m. Kovaly said ODNR will also perform an electrofishing demonstration where they will shock the Ohio River. This process temporarily stuns the fish and allows for the discovery of what types of fish are in the water.
“ODNR will have their boat there. They will lower a boom out into the river, and it sends a small electrical current through the water that paralyzes the fish temporarily. That allows the fish to rise to the surface. It’s used for surveys, stream health, to help determine what species of fish are in a stream,” she said, adding that some of the fish will be removed from the river, transported into tanks and put on display for attendees to view.
“Kids will get some hands-on opportunities to see some native fish in the Ohio River.”
The species of fish will all depend on what is in that area of the river at the time of the shock, Kovaly said.
The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office will be bringing its new boat, which was purchased to accompany the county’s own river rescue dive team. Kovaly said they will be performing training exercises.
Other activities at the event include a BB gun and archery range, photo booth with Smokey Bear, flint knapping demonstration, live animal encounters, crafts and a bake sale.
The event started in 2020 as a way to get kids and residents outside to experience activities and provide education.
“Some kids have never shot a gun before, this gives them a chance to shoot a BB gun. Some kids have never shot a bow and arrow, this gives them the opportunity to do that. It promotes the outdoor activities that are prominent in Monroe County that some kids don’t get the chance to participate in,” she said.
All are welcome to attend the event. Registration is only required for those interested in participating in the fishing class. Call the county SWCD at 740-472-5477 to register.
“It’s an open festival. There’s not really a set schedule; everyone is welcome to come and go as they please,” she said.