With school doors closing, kids (and parents) are anxious to find a fun, easy outdoor summer activity. This is the perfect time to get the entire family out to a fishing event hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a national fish hatchery or national wildlife refuge. Numerous Service-sponsored fishing events will take place during National Fishing and Boating Week (June 3 – 11).
Everyone can join in this great American family tradition. From fishing clinics to fishing derbies, these events offer first-time-anglers opportunities to learn the art of fishing. All family members get to enjoy a fun and inexpensive outing to connect with each other – and with nature.
“Fishing is one of the cornerstones of America’s sporting heritage that unites men, women and children of all walks of life,” said Service Acting Director Jim Kurth. “During National Fishing and Boating Week, Service led-fishing events will not only provide families a fun fishing experience but also an opportunity to learn about some of the vital conservation work that helps support healthy rivers and streams, local economies and our own health and wellbeing.”
But this summer’s fishing opportunities on America’s public lands and waters don’t end with National Fishing and Boating Week. Many more Service-led fishing events are planned throughout the rest of the summer at most national fish hatcheries and several national wildlife refuges.
By simply casting a line, people experience many other connections with nature, such as tuning in with the sounds or sight of birds and other wildlife, observing diverse plants and flowers, or by reconnecting with waterscapes and landscapes both majestic and subtle.
These powerful connections are known to improve our personal lives. Although most Americans perceive tremendous benefit from experiences in nature, a recent study shows that a significant gap exists between people’s interest in the outdoors and the opportunities to pursue those interests. Service-sponsored fishing events present an easy opportunity for all Americans from city, suburban and rural areas to experience nature.
According to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, every year 47 million Americans participate in fishing, making it the second most popular outdoor activity in America. Still, there are almost 4.3 million youth who have not yet, but would like to, try fishing. National Fishing and Boating Week is the perfect opportunity to help young anglers cast their first line.
The Service manages more than 70 national fish hatcheries and 560 national wildlife refuges across the country. Of the refuges, 270 are opened to recreational fishing. There is a national fish hatchery or national wildlife refuge in every state, and more than 100 of these are within an hour’s drive from a major metropolitan area. The Service invites everyone to visit and enjoy the public lands we manage for the benefit of all Americans.
For a list of hundreds of other fishing events taking place on public lands and waters across the country, visit TakeMeFishing.Org.