Conserving the Nature of America
Press Release
‘Catch the Summer Fun’; Fishing is the ‘Reel’ Deal at National Fish Hatcheries and National Wildlife Refuges

June 1, 2018


Ivan Vicente

With school doors closing for the summer, 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 2 – 10.

Everyone can join in this great American family tradition. From clinics to 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. During National Fishing and Boating Week, Service led-fishing events will provide families a fun fishing experience and 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.

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 for the rest of the summer at most national fish hatcheries and several national wildlife refuges.

In addition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is partnering with the National Park Service to offer a new free booklet to help kids get hooked on fishing. Starting June 2, aspiring anglers can download the Junior Ranger “Let’s Go Fishing!” activity booklet.  Activities in the booklet introduce kids and their families to fishing and encourage healthy and responsible outdoor recreation.  

A print version of the booklet will be available at select national parks, national wildlife refuges and national fish hatcheries. Upon completing the twelve activities in the booklet, kids will be sworn in as Junior Ranger Anglers and receive a National Park Service or U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service junior ranger badge.

“Teaching a child to fish gives him or her an outdoor skill that can bring a lifetime of pleasure,” said Cynthia Martinez, chief of the Service’s National Wildlife Refuge System. “There are hundreds of national wildlife refuges and other public lands across the country — in both urban and rural communities —that are great places to fish, and this booklet will tell you all you need to enjoy them.”

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 water and landscapes, both majestic and subtle.

These powerful connections are known to improve our personal lives. 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 go fishing, making it the second most popular outdoor activity in America. Still, there are almost 4.3 million youth who 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

For more information about the Junior Ranger Let’s Go Fishing! program or to download a copy of the booklet, visit:

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

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