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Celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week -- Take a Kid Fishing


May 28, 2003

Tom MacKenzie, (404) 679-7291

Do you remember when and where you caught your first fish? National Fishing and Boating Week, June 1-8, 2003, offers the perfect opportunity to create that experience for your kids or for yourself.

“About 17 million kids go fishing each year,” says Sam D. Hamilton, Southeast Regional Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “We enjoy sponsoring events at our fish hatcheries and refuges because we are giving families a chance to spend some quality time together.”

Not only do fishing and boating provide lasting memories and recreation, they also are a tremendous boost to the economy. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, anglers 16 years of age or older spent more than $35 billion dollars in 2001 to fish. Fishing-related equipment, such as boats, vans, and cabins cost anglers over $11 billion in 2001.

Most Southeastern states are offering at least one free fishing day during that week when no state fishing license is required. In Georgia, Alabama, and Tennessee free fishing day is June 7. In Arkansas, free fishing days are June 6-8. On June 7-8, Mississippi offers free fishing at state lakes and parks. In Louisiana, South Carolina, and Kentucky, free fishing days are June 7-8.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and many other organizations are hosting events during National Fishing and Boating Week, to find the events nearest you, please visit the websites: and for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service events please see:

Click here for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service fishing derbies, rodeos, and other events at National Fish Hatcheries and National Wildlife Refuges across the Southeast.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System which encompasses 541 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 69 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.


For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at or

NOTE: You can view our releases or subscribe to receive them -- via e-mail -- at the Service's Southeast Regional home page at Our national home page is at:

Atlanta, GA 30345
Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

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