Future Fisherman tries to get kids hooked on fishing

January 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm Leave a comment

“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him/her the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”

– Rachel Carson

The Future Fisherman Foundation is an organization dedicated to introducing youngsters to the great sport of fishing. It’s mission statement reads “There is no better way to reconnect our children with nature than taking them fishing! The Future Fisherman Foundation and our partners create, facilitate, and enable community and school based programs to design and deliver hands-on fishing experiences for all children.”

One of the ways the Future Fisherman Foundation aims to reconnect today’s youth with the outdoors is through the Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Grants Initiative. Physh Ed provides grants to kindergarten through grade 12 teachers to implement fishing and boating units in their classrooms.

For the 2009/2010 school year, the Foundation plans to offer individual grants of $2,500 to qualified teachers. Grant monies can be used for fishing and boating equipment, field trips, curriculum materials and other resources to assist instructors in carrying out fishing, boating and conservation education activities.

Grant recipients also receive an intensive week of training in fishing and boating techniques.

“Physh Ed is an excellent way for school-aged youth to gain hands-on experience with fishing and boating activities they can enjoy for a lifetime,” said Anne Danielski, Future Fisherman Foundation executive director. “The school environment encourages the integration of the hands-on elements that fishing and boating lessons offer into other subject areas such as science and math.”

The Physh Ed program is funded by a grant from the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF). Since 2003, the Physh Ed program has awarded over $1,000,000 in grant funds to public, private and chartered institutions introducing over 85,000 students in 47 states to fishing, boating and conservation education activities. The goal for the upcoming school year is to engage over 10,000 students nationwide in fishing, boating and conservation education activities.

Applications must be received electronically via e-mail on or before Monday Feb. 9, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. EST. To obtain grant application forms or for more information on the Physh Ed National Fishing and Boating Grants Initiative and other angler education programs and services, go to the futurefisherman.org website or contact Manager of Education Teresa Rodriguez at 703-519-9691, x224.

Fulfilling grant applications is contingent upon the Future Fisherman Foundation obtaining grant funding for the Physh Ed program. All applicants will be notified of the status of their grant applications by March 30, 2009.

Don’t forget that this is the week that the 40th Anniversary Connecticut Marine Trades Association Boating Show comes to the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.

The show will be filled with cruisers, personal watercraft, center consoles, bass boats, affordable day sailors and well over 100 booths of services, accessories, and just plain fun. And, there are informative fishing seminars on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Admission is $12 and children under 12 are always free when accompanied with an adult. Show hours are: Thursday – Jan. 22, 4:00pm – 9:00pm; Friday – Jan. 23, 12:00pm – 9:00pm; Saturday – Jan. 24, 10:00am – 9:00pm; Sunday – Jan. 25, 10:00am – 5 pm.

The show will be held at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. The Center is located at 100 Columbus Boulevard.

To get there from the Stamford/Norwalk area take I-95 to I-91 North in New Haven. Take Exit 29 Capitol Area/Convention Center (Left Exit). Stay in Right Lane and exit at Columbus Boulevard. Turn right and the convention center and its attached parking garage are located on the immediate right.

Ice fishing fans throughout the New England and New York region are celebrating this week. The frigid cold snap that blanketed the area created safe ice almost everywhere.

Many, if not all, of the New York City reservoirs and most of Connecticut’s freshwater ponds and lakes are frozen over.

Pete Miller, of Pete’s Place Bait and Tackle, finally caught his first of the year while jigging through the ice in Westchester County. Fishing the West Branch he caught several fish including a white perch and several yellow perch.

Also doing well at the West Branch was Mickey Farina. Using both shiners and jigs, Farina caught five brown trout weighing between 2 and 4-pounds last week.

Joe Horvath took advantage of a strong smelt run at the West Branch. While using jigs sweetened with grubs he caught more smelt than he could count.

Kevin Miller at Sportsman’s Den reported that the Mianus River above the dam was frozen solid and he has seen several people catching fish.

Ken Bixbee, Gene Barry and Dan Ambrusco kept busy last week testing ice fishing at several lakes and ponds in northern Connecticut. They report that the found success almost everywhere they went catching mostly pan fish.

Nick Massaro at Fisherman’s World says that the Atlantic herring season is still red hot. His customers are catching herring at the Maritime Center and South Benson Marina. Other good herring locations include Stamford’s East Branch and Grass Island off Greenwich.

Because of the lower water salinity in the Housatonic River, striped bass fishing on the river has slowed. Good bass fishing can still be had off the Bridgeport Power Plant.

If you decide to go ice fishing please be very careful. Ice that is safe one day can become unsafe overnight.

Martin Armstrong is a member of the Fisheries Advisory Council, a lifetime member in Trout Unlimited and a member of the outdoor Writers Association of America.
Stamford Advocate

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Entry filed under: Get Wet, Public Waterfront, Region.

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