The 3-Minute Interview: Birt Webley

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Local,People,Liz Essley,3-Minute Interview

A Herndon resident and retired government contractor, Webley runs the trout stocking program at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston.

How'd you get this job?

I've been married about 51 years, and after I was retired about six years, my wife said, "I think it's time for you to go fishing and get out my kitchen." So I came over here. I teach fishing, and I manage the trout stocking program this year and the marina. It is not about the money. It's a lot of fun. I'm 72 and happy to be on the planet.

How many people fish in the lake?

There are people out there fishing right this minute. They were out fishing yesterday during the [March 6] snow. On stocking days we have anywhere from 65 to 85 people.

What makes fast-paced Washingtonians want to go fishing?

People love the outdoors. It's very picturesque here. It's a 17.5-acre lake that we're putting the fish in. This morning I glanced out there and good gracious, there was a bald eagle flying over the lake. That made my day. I'm a cancer survivor twice so I love life; I love people. In my case when I got the white shirt and tie off, it was nice to go fishing, boating, enjoy the outdoors. There's a lot of camaraderie. I would say about 60 percent of the people here have fished in Lake Fairfax Park for many years... Sometimes you don't catch anything. So what happens in that period when you're waiting for the fish to bite? Well you visit with the fisherman or the lady next to you. It's also a good program where we can have the moms, dads, aunts, uncles or grandparents bring their young people in to learn a life skill. To have them here sure beats the heck of out of having them sitting, texting in the mall.

-- Liz Essley

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Liz Essley

Staff Writer - Transportation
The Washington Examiner