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Enthusiasm of Young Fishermen
Midwest Region, April 18, 2009
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A young boy yelled out “when do we get to fish?” immediately as biologists Joshua Schloesser and Tracy Hill stepped out of the truck at a fishing clinic for the boy scouts.  The group of ten kids and their parents were so excited to fish a local pond that stories of who caught the biggest fish last time were wagered against each other. 

With fishing poles and hooks swinging around from anxious anglers, a safety talk was necessary so everybody would have a safe and enjoyable day.  When the kids understood that hooks are sharp and how to cast safely, they baited up and let the bobbers fly.  Before everyone even got their line in the water, the first bobber went under and the boy walked backwards dragging the bluegill onto shore.  Apparently he hadn’t grasped the idea of the reel. 

After about an hour of fishing, a mixed bag of bluegills, nice white crappies and even some largemouth bass were thrown in a bin for a lesson on how to clean their prized catch.  One parent exclaimed, “no one has ever showed me how to clean fish the right way” as everyone gathered around for a demonstration.   With all eyes on the fish at the cleaning board, a biology lesson on why bluegills look different than white crappies was eagerly accepted.  Naturally, as the filets come off the young boys were fascinated with the guts and what the fish were eating. 

There was no doubt that the time spent teaching not only the kids, but the parents as well, about fishing and fish biology brought out the enthusiasm in these young fishermen.   A little time with a fun group of kids and their parents brought increased awareness to the value of our fisheries resources.

Contact Info: Joshua Schloesser, 715-682-6185, Joshua_Schloesser@fws.gov



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