By AMY GAREIS   News-Herald Staff Writer

HOPEDALE – A new club is angling for members to introduce them to the fun of fishing.

The Hopedale Youth Fishing Club is open to children aged 8-16 and plans are in the works to take out the ole rods and reels sometime this month.

“We’ve got 26 kids signed up but we’re expecting only five or six,” said organizer Rob Raber. He said the public was notified through flyers and Facebook and held signups at Wood’s Food Store in Hopedale on April 1.

“We signed up as many kids as we could. We are trying to get those between ages 8 and 16 and we’ve got friends and family who will volunteer [for outings].”

The first activity could be held this month and Raber was seeking permission to utilize various spots in the area.

“I am a member of the Hopedale Sportsman’s Club and want to go there and get approval to use their nice pond,” he added, saying he was also hoping to obtain the OK for other fishing holes, such as Sally Buffalo Park.

Raber wants to schedule a mid-April activity and said the goal was to show kids the fun aspects of angling. He said it was a way to keep youth, well, hooked on positive outdoor activities.

“We’re going to try to do another youth tournament. We want to try to get kids away from the TV and computer,” Raber continued. “My kids enjoy it and one of my sons had a fishing party for his birthday. There were kids who hadn’t fished before and they had a blast.”

There is still room for more participants in the new club. The group is also working with Harrison County Rural Transit to coordinate transportation and seeking public contributions for snacks, old and new fishing equipment or other donations. For more information, contact Raber at 740-314-2001.

More information on other area clubs and events is available each week in the print edition of the Harrison News-Herald.