Several hundred schoolchildren dropped their lines in the Constitution Gardens Pond for a day of fishing on the National Mall that kicked off the nationwide 2010 National Fishing and Boating Week (June 5-13, 2010) celebration. With the help of numerous volunteers, youngsters from several Washington metropolitan area schools fished for largemouth bass, bluegill and crappie. They started their day learning about fishing techniques, angler ethics, safety and aquatic conservation. The annual national celebration recognizes the importance of fishing and boating, and is observed during the first full week in June.
“Helping children learn the joys of fishing and being at home in the great outdoors is one of the centerpieces of Secretary Salazar’s ‘America’s Great Outdoors’ initiative to support community-level efforts to reconnect Americans, especially children, to the outdoors,” said Service Deputy Director Dan Ashe.
This event, as well as many others held across the nation, celebrates National Fishing and Boating Week and highlights the many boating and fishing opportunities available to all Americans. It also serves to foster natural resource stewardship in America’s youth and expose them to careers in natural resources. The youth participating in this event are mostly from urban schools, where opportunities to participate in these types of activities are limited. This angling event highlights the Service’s priority to help young people get outdoors and enjoy America’s rich and diverse natural resources.
“The Fish and Wildlife Service strongly supports recreational fishing, especially programs that encourage children to learn to fish and learn about the outdoors,” said Ashe. “Recreational fishing is an integral component of our national heritage and continues to play an important role in the social, cultural and economic well-being of our nation.”
This event was just one of hundreds of community events taking place across the nation. Many states do not require a fishing license during the annual celebration week and hold fishing clinics, casting contests, derbies, fish hatchery open houses and any number of other family-oriented activities.
Sponsors include the Department of Interior, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, District Department of the Environment, Catch A Special Thrill (C.A.S.T.) for Kids Foundation, Trout Unlimited, Blacks in Government, Future Fisherman Foundation, American Sportfishing Association and American Recreation Coalition.
Currently, some 40 million anglers and 70 million recreational boaters enjoy these great American traditions. Both pastimes make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, support millions of jobs and add billions of dollars to state tax revenues through equipment purchases and tourism-related expenditures. National Fishing and Boating Week also encourages families to fish together as one of the best ways to get outdoors and have meaningful and memorable experiences.
For more information on places you can get out and enjoy National Fishing and Boating Week, go to www.takemefishing.org
. You can also discover the many fishing and boating spots managed across the nation by the Department of the Interior by going to www.recreation.gov
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov