Article Posted: July 14, 2000

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LANSING--The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is
offering free fishing tackle kits to qualified groups
interested in creating youth fishing clubs and sponsoring
fishing clinics for young people. Each kit contains basic
fishing equipment including rods, reels and tackle.
Instructional materials and mentoring guidelines also will
be provided.
"The purpose of this initiative is to get more young people
involved in the fun of fishing," said Ken Dodge, DNR Urban
Fisheries Biologist. "An interest in fishing often leads to
an enhanced appreciation of the outdoors and a feeling of
stewardship toward natural resources."
Research indicates that becoming an avid angler is a long-
term process. During this angler recruitment process, five
key points are required: (1) providing introductory angling
experiences, (2) providing access to equipment, (3)
providing access to fishing opportunities, (4) providing
access to a mentor and (5) providing continued social
support for fishing.
Providing the free fishing tackle kits is an incentive for
youth organizations and schools to establish fishing clubs
that can deliver all these factors. In particular, the
creation of youth fishing clubs provides access to a mentor
and the social support required to foster a continued
interest in fishing. These two factors generally are the
most difficult to provide young people outside their
immediate family.
Organizations or individuals selected to receive the free
fishing tackle kits will be selected on the competitive
strength of their proposal and the intended use of the
equipment. Ongoing programs such as fishing clubs created in
schools and other youth programs will receive priority over
programs offering only infrequent use, such as annual
fishing derbies.
Individuals or organizations interested in this program
should contact Ken Dodge, DNR Urban Fisheries Biologist at
517-780-7902 or e-mail: dodgek@state.mi.us.

Source: MDNR

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