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Bad Weather No Deterrent for Heinz National Wildlife Refuge ?Pathways to Fishing?
Northeast Region, June 7, 2003
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Despite bad weather conditions, the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum hosted its annual Pathways to Fishing program on Saturday, June 7. Those who came to the refuge were treated to a wide array of fishing activities from educational talks and demonstrations to actually putting line and tackle to the test in the waters of Darby Creek and the refuge's 145 acre pond.

A yearly favorite is the presentation by Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission volunteer, Mike Surecki. Mike has a vast wealth of fishing knowledge and experience, and coupled that with in-depth displays and hands-on presentations to the delight of all. Mike always conveys the importance of conservation and the need to pass on to youngsters -- and adults -- the value of being good stewards of the environment.

Another regular who pitches in each year is Jim Taylor. The owner of Taylor's Bait and Tackle Shop in southwest Philadelphia, he comes out each year to give on-the-spot advice about the best bait and lures as well as tips on casting and presentation to land those finned wonders that ply our local waters.

Representatives of Friends of the Heinz Wildlife Refuge were on hand to show folks how to make their very own ?fish print? t-shirts using the Japanese art form of ?Gyotaku?. Some very colorful renditions were created.

Coordinator for this year's event was refuge staff member, Bill Thomas. He said, ?The bad weather didn?t help us out much but we had about 25 people who actually preregistered, and we figure another 25 or so showed up but never registered.? The Pathways event is a joint effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (as part of its Free Fishing Days) to encourage folks to try this great family activity. It was sponsored by the two agencies as well as by the Friends group, Southeast Archery and Sports Center, Taylor's Bait and Tackle Shop and WalMart. For more information on the refuge system, log on to www.fws.gov. For more on the Heinz National Wildlife Refuge, call 215/365-3118 or visit http://heinz.fws.gov.

Although a great deal of effort went into this year's Pathway to Fishing program, our actual visitor numbers were very low due to one of the many weekends of absolutely terrible weather. In recent years, 100-200 people would participate in this very popular program. Kudos to all those brave folks who actually did turn out this year!

Contact Info: Jennifer Lapis, (413) 253-8303, jennifer_lapis@fws.gov
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