Fishing Gear Brings New Opportunities to Green Bay Community
New Fishing Gear at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary Offers Enhanced Fishing Opportunities

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FWCO staff and Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary staff display new fishing tackle used for education programs at the Sanctuary.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is a 535-acre urban wildlife refuge located in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Originally established in 1936, the Wildlife Sanctuary began as a waterfowl rehabilitation site and today cares for over 6000 orphaned and injured animals each year. Over the last eight decades, the Wildlife Sanctuary has added many other conservation and nature-based opportunities for the public. The area also offers nature walks, birding opportunities, summer camps, urban fishing, and environmental education programs that reach over 10,000 students every year. 

The Green Bay Fish and Wildlife Conservation Office or FWCO works to protect, enhance, and restore native ecosystems and aquatic organisms in the Lake Michigan watershed basin alongside several Tribal, state, and non-profit conservation partners. Enhancing recreational opportunities and educating the public on aquatic resources and conservation is an important part of the FWCO's overall mission. The Wildlife Sanctuary is located a few miles away from the Green Bay FWCO and provides a great opportunity for collaboration on environmental education and fishing programs. Operating as a fee-free natural area, the Wildlife Sanctuary serves a wide demographic base and works to remove barriers to participation in outdoor recreation – a goal consistent with the Green Bay FWCO outreach and environmental education mission.

Earlier in 2023, Green Bay FWCO launched its first ever Kids’ Fishing Day. This event focused on aquatic ecosystems, fish ecology, and learning how to fish. The event was held at the Wildlife Sanctuary and reached a large audience. Building on the success of the Kids Fishing Day, FWCO staff were invited to attend the school's year-end 4K (pre-kindergarten) fishing day with students and parents participating, and to be a part of the summer Fish Camp program focused on getting kids to try fishing.

USFWS staff assisting children with fishing at 2023 Fish Camp.

As a place and facility enjoyed by many members of the community, the Wildlife Sanctuary has been blessed to receive many donations that help keep their programs functioning. Unfortunately, time and use aren’t always kind to fishing equipment, and the fishing tackle on hand at the Wildlife Sanctuary was at the end of its lifecycle and ready for some serious upgrades. Wildlife Sanctuary Naturalists Kim and Jodi worked on gear needs with Anthony Rieth from the Green Bay FWCO, that would allow education programs to continue and expand into the future. Thanks to this collaboration, ten push button rod and reel combos and multiple tackle boxes filled with a variety of fishing tackle have a new home at the Wildlife Sanctuary.

The addition of this new tackle at the Wildlife Sanctuary will allow staff to continue to offer events like Fish Camp, Girl Scout days, and learn to fish events on their own. Staff from the Green Bay FWCO eagerly look forward to collaborating with the Wildlife Sanctuary in 2024 on multiple fishing events and cannot wait to see the success of this new gear in action. 

Stay tuned for future updates on the use of this fishing tackle!

This work was supported by a grant from the Fish and Aquatic Conservation Fish Funds program. Participation in outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, hiking, and birding connect people with nature and empower the next generation of conservationists.


Story Tags

Sport fishing

Recreational Activities