Disabled veterans to fish Paxton Quarry

HERRON – Disabled veterans are invited to a free fishing outing at Paxton Quarry on Wednesday, courtesy of the Friends of the Lake Huron Watershed and several local partners.

Starting at 11 a.m., the catch-and-release fishing trip is meant to be a way for disabled veterans to socialize and have fun, organizer Thomas Gilfillan said. Lafarge is making its former quarry available, which is now flooded and stocked with bluegill and bass. There’s a prize for the biggest fish caught, and Gilfillan hopes to make the event an annual one.

Gilfillan got the idea for having the event after Friends of the Lake Huron Watershed brought 500 third-graders to the same quarry, he said. One day, he saw a disabled veteran standing in front of a local grocery store, and decided to organize something similar for those who fought for their country.

“I thought we could do something that’s as worthy for the disabled veterans as we did for the kids,” he said.

After talking with Lafarge and the local Disabled American Veterans office, Gilfillan said he got the event together. He’s also spoken with Thunder Bay Transportation to provide rides for anyone who can’t make it to the quarry, located between King Settlement and Herron roads along M-32. Other local businesses are helping; Marine Market has donated hamburgers and Save-a-Lot has donated the buns.

No fishing licenses are required to participate, and there’s no need to sign up ahead of time, Gilfillan said. Lafarge will also provide fishing poles and bait.

The lucky angler who catches the largest fish will win a pair of tickets for Alpena Shipwreck Tours’ glass-bottomed boat ride, courtesy of the Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center, Gilfillan said.

Overall, Gilfillan said he hopes the day will be a good time for every disabled veteran who makes it.

“It seemed like a good thing for them to experience something positive,” he said.

For more information, call Gilfillan at 471-5473.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.