r We had three large pontoon boats on Strawberry Reservoir on June 10 and a total of 36 participants, including members and volunteers, and boats were launched from Soldier Creek Marina.
Capt. Brent, from the nonprofit Hand In Hand Outdoors, ran the 35-foot boat. Capt. Fred, one of our board members, ran his 18-foot boat and Capt. Bryan (also one of our active members who has been wheelchair-bound from an accident over 15 years ago) ran his own 18-foot boat. We had a great time fishing despite winds ranging from 5 to 15 miles per hour. The weather was pleasant with sun, high limited clouds and temperatures in the low 80s.
That Saturday was a statewide Free Fishing Day offered by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, so many others got to enjoy fishing as well. We had a special guest Mark — from Spokane, Washington — who came as a professional photographer to record the activities in pictures. He committed to document the best pictures on a CD or flash drive and provide them to us to share with attendees.
You might ask: Why pontoon boats? The answer is that they are more accessible for people with limited mobility and those in wheelchairs. Several members were also in electric wheelchairs and with the help of two or more volunteers they could board and fish as well. Others in manual wheelchairs boarded with the help of at least one volunteer.
Our primary focus was to provide free fishing and lunch for disabled persons and several wounded warriors. Where possible we also included friends and family members to expand the quality of the fishing experience.