ELY — Fans of the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Take Me Fishing campaign took to Facebook this summer, to participate in Nature’s Waterpark Showdown. Each fan was invited to help determine the top eight natural “waterparks,” or state parks, for boating and fishing in America. They could also enter for a chance to win the grand prize: a vacation to a state park for a family of four. Twenty-four pre-determined watering holes were put to the test and after eight weeks of voting, the fans have spoken.
Nevada’s very own Cave Lake State Park made the cut and was voted one of the top eight state parks in America by Take Me Fishing Facebook fans based on fishing, boating and family fun.
The winning parks include:
• Lake Murray State Park, Okla.
• Itasca State Park, Minn.
• Blue Spring State Park, Fla.
• El Dorado State Park, Kan.
• Presque Isle State Park, Pa.
• Cave Lake State Park, Nev.
• Fall Creek Falls State Park, Tenn.
• Wellington State Park, N.H.
Cave Lake State Park is a year-round park that offers outstanding recreational opportunities. It features a 32-acre reservoir and provides excellent trout fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, camping and picnicking. The 4,500-acre park is at an elevation of 7,300 feet in the Schell Creek Range adjacent to the Humboldt National Forest. Winter activities include ice-skating, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. The park is eight miles south of Ely on U.S. 93, turning onto Success Summit road (State route 486) and continuing east for seven miles.
“We regularly stock Cave Lake with rainbow trout in addition to the native brown trout available, which provides excellent opportunity for anglers,” said Chris Crookshanks, NDOW fisheries biologist. “Fishing is excellent from the shore as well as from boats and crawdadding is also permitted.”
Many families look for places that are both fun and affordable when planning vacations. Luckily for them, there are 7,804 state parks in the U.S. Additionally, 90 percent of Americans live within one hour of navigable water. As for the cost, on average the cost of fishing licenses for a family of four is under half the cost for a family season pass to the average commercial waterpark.
“Families are looking for unique, close to home trips,” said Frank Peterson, RBFF President and CEO. “Cave Lake is an example of an enjoyable and affordable fishing and boating hotspot right in your own backyard.”
Spending time with family and enjoying nature are not the only joys and benefits that fishing and boating bring. Many may not realize that the purchase of a fishing license or boat registration helps to preserve natural places, like state parks, and is vital to aquatic conservation efforts.
“A portion of all fishing tackle and license sales, as well as boat supply and registration sales, fund the conservation and preservation of our nation’s waterways helping to ensure that future generations can enjoy all that nature has to offer,” Peterson said.
Since 2007, the Take Me Fishing campaign has generated nearly $30 million for state conservation efforts. The campaign increases awareness of the need to protect, conserve and restore the nation’s aquatic resources by encouraging participation in recreational boating and fishing. These efforts impact conservation efforts in states like Nevada and throughout the country.
For more information on the Nature’s Waterpark Showdown winners visit the Take Me Fishing Facebook page at www.facebook.com/takemefishing. The parks showcased in the campaign are just a fraction of the many outdoor recreation spots available throughout the nation. For more information on boating and fishing and a full list of places to participate in the sports, visit www.takemefishing.org.