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Middlesex County children and parents along with volunteers with the Wish-A-Fish program prepare to leave Deltaville aboard “Tortuga” for a morning of fishing on the Rappahannock River. The fishing expedition was coordinated by Middlesex Partners in Progress (MPIP). (Photo by Susan Hallett)

Early this past Saturday morning at Holly Point Nature Park in Deltaville the sound of children giggling over the roar of diesel engines could be heard. If one looked closely through the mist, he could also see the “Tortuga” pulling away from the dock for the third annual Wish-A-Fish expedition.

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A young angler aboard “Tortuga” is tickled with her catch.

An hour earlier, a Middlesex County school bus was at the Cooks Corner Office Complex loading up with excited, though not-all-fully-awake children, parents and volunteers for the trip to Deltaville. There they were met by the captain of the Tortuga and employees of Infilco Degremont (primary sponsor for this Wish-A-Fish expedition), Middlesex Partners in Progress (MPIP), and numerous service organizations from throughout Middlesex.

For the next four hours everyone had fun and many new experiences. Some were fishing for the first time and everyone enjoyed observing a pod of dolphins cruising the Rappahannock River. There also was time to learn the importance of good stewardship of our waterways.

Around 11:30 a.m. the Tortuga returned to the dock at Holly Point where additional volunteers had prepared a picnic lunch that, after a morning on the river, was devoured with relish (pun intended). An hour later it was time for the bus to return the children to their homes, but not before a wrap-up celebration where each child received their own fishing rod, backpack, and goodie bag full of school supplies, snacks, and much more.

“This was MPIP’s third expedition on the Tortuga and we want to thank Infilco Degremont, Wish-A-Fish, and all of the other volunteers and donors for making it possible,” said an MPIP spokesperson. “We look forward to adding a second boat next year with access for even more children to have fun and learn about one of our most important resources—our rivers.”

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Photo by Susal Hallett

posted 08.16.2012

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