Conserving the Nature of America
Kick off a Summer of Outdoor Fun and Get Your Fish On at a National Fish Hatchery or Wildlife Refuge during National Fishing and Boating Week

May 30, 2019


Ivan Vicente

With school doors closing, kids (and parents) are anxious to find a fun, easy outdoor summer activity. National Fishing and Boating Week (June 1 - 9) 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.

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. 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 physical and mental 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. We invite you to Catch the Fun! At any of a number of Service-led fishing events throughout the rest of the summer at most hatcheries and several refuges.

Beyond 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.

According to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, every year, 49 million Americans participate in fishing, making it the second most popular outdoor activity in America. National Fishing and Boating Week is the perfect time to help young anglers cast their first line.

“National Fishing and Boating Week is the perfect time to start your fishing adventure,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “With events taking place across the country, and many states offering free fishing days, you can test the waters while connecting with family and friends, enjoying some time in nature and creating memories that will last a lifetime.”  

Recreational angling constitutes one of the largest components of outdoor recreation in the U.S., having generated over $49 billion in retail sales in 2016 (USFWS, 2016), and contributed $125 billion to the national economy (ASA, 2018).

The Service manages more than 70 national fish hatcheries and 560 national wildlife refuges across the country. Of the refuges, more than 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.

“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.”

For a list of hundreds of other fishing events taking place on public lands and waters across the country, visit TakeMeFishing.Org

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

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.