What is DNR doing to lure more young people into fishing?The DNR has taken a variety of approaches to this societal trend in which children and families are participating at reduced levels in fishing, hunting and many other outdoor pursuits.
Editor's note: The following is the Minnesota Department of Natural Rsources "Question of the Week."
Question: What is the DNR doing to reverse the decline in the number of youth interested in fishing?
Answer: The DNR has taken a variety of approaches to this societal trend in which children and families are participating at reduced levels in fishing, hunting and many other outdoor pursuits.
The MinnAqua fishing and aquatic education program publishes a state-of-the art guide (Fishing: Get in the Habitat!) for teachers and youth leaders who want to teach angling, aquatic ecology and stewardship to youth. Through educator workshops and mentoring, MinnAqua is developing providers of high quality aquatic education programs throughout Minnesota.
The Fishing in the Neighborhood program in the Twin Cities metropolitan area was developed to increase access by stocking ponds and other small bodies of water fish to create urban angling opportunities that previously did not exist. Additionally, the DNR pushed to reduce barriers to fishing in Minnesota state parks by eliminating the need for a license and offering "I Can Fish!" instructional clinics.
Finally, the agency is working with national and state organizations to encourage families to try fishing as a way to relax and enjoy the out-of-doors.
Minnesotans will have a chance to do just that Feb. 18-20 as part of Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend. During that weekend, anglers 16 and older do not need a fishing license if they are accompanied by a child younger than 16 and are actively participating to introduce a kid to fishing.
More about Take a Kid Ice Fishing Weekend is at http://www.mndnr.gov/takeakidicefishing.
-- Roland Sigurdson, DNR MinnAqua education specialist