WESTFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – MassWildLife received help from dozens of children Thursday morning stocking trout in Westfield’s Hampton Ponds.

The children helped the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game stock Pequot Pond at Hampton Ponds with 800 trout raised at Department Hatcheries throughout western Massachusetts. It was an experience for these children that could likely last a lifetime.

“It was very fun. I just put plenty of fish back in the pond. I love seeing them swimming away. It’s really fun for me,” said nine-year-old Ryan Desmarais of Southwick.

(You may have some lifetime fishermen out of this!) “You’re absolutely correct, and that’s exactly what we’re hoping for. Being Earth week and also being the first time having the public after two years of COVID. It’s a wonderful time to be out on the water with the kids,” said Ron Amidon, Commissioner of the Department of Fish and Game.

The happiness shown by the children stocking Pequot Pond was matched only by the pride exhibited by their parents and grandparents.

The agency is working on stocking 500,000 fish in waters across the state and asked the help of parents and students during school vacation week. MassWildLife says it as an educational opportunity for young fishermen.