Local magnet fishermen pull 11K pounds from Spokane River, sell scrap for kids in need

By turning their talent into profit, a local group of metal fishermen plans to help children in need, and set a new world record in the process.

Manhole covers, cameras, cell phones… even an antique pistol.

When members of H2O Magnet Fortunes go fishing, it’s not fish they hope to pull out of the Spokane River.

The group has been out every weekend since Father’s Day, putting all the metal they’ve pulled from the water into a dumpster- 11,000 pounds of metal, to be exact.

“I got bored,” said Paul Swanson, creator of H2O Magnet Fortunes. “Doctor pretty much said you need to change your game plan of life. Couldn’t fish no more, hardly. It was hard to do, tying on the lines and stuff, so I decided to create a little magnet fishing love here in Spokane.”

Swanson and his team started filling the dumpster in June. It’s now full. The group plans to trade it in for profit, all of which will be donated to SOAR, a care provider for kids with autism and special needs.

Ordinarily, prepared iron is worth $80 per ton- an amount Pacific Steel and Recycling decided to double in order to help the cause.

$888 is now on its way to SOAR.

“They go around in home and also office therapy for special needs children,” said Swanson. “I have a special needs son that needs their services and they’ve been my angel in the corner.”

Swanson says he’s just getting started, and there’s still tons of metal in the river.

In the meantime, he’s been in contact with Guinness World Records. He’s confident their 11,000 pound scrap pile could set a record for the most metal pulled by a magnet fishing club.