National Fishing & Boating Week In Georgia

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Over the last 20 years children’s playtime has declined by 25 percent and unstructured outdoor activities have declined by 50 percent. Family dinners have decreased by 33 percent and family vacations have decreased by 28 percent (according to the organization Family Life First). How can you gain back some of the family time that is lost while increasing your child’s interest in the outdoors? The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) declare boating and fishing as unmatched leisure activities that help make a true connection with family, friends and the natural environment. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) encourages people of all ages to reconnect with their families during National Fishing and Boating Week (NFBW), June 1-8, 2008.

“Outdoor recreation strengthens the family as a unit and children as individuals,” says WRD Chief of Fisheries Management John Biagi. “National Fishing and Boating Week is an opportunity to remind all outdoor enthusiasts to teach their children and others the importance of natural resource conservation while introducing them to a sport that could last a lifetime.”

NFBW began in 1979 as National Fishing Week and was created to recognize the tradition of fishing, to broaden the spirit of togetherness and to share the values and knowledge of today’s anglers with tomorrow’s anglers. In the spirit of introducing new family members or friends to the sport of angling, Georgia offers TWO FREE FISHING DAYS during NFBW – Saturday, May 31 and Saturday, June 7, 2008. On these days, Georgia residents do not need a fishing license or a trout license in order to fish. Residents can fish on any public waters in the state including lakes, streams, ponds and public fishing areas (PFA). Additionally, residents do not need to obtain a WMA license to fish on a PFA or on Waters Creek on these two free fishing days.

In addition to the two free fishing days, there are more than 50 KIDS FISHING EVENTS (KFEs) scheduled across the state during the week to help introduce children to fishing. These events offer a healthy form of entertainment for kids and are an excellent opportunity for beginning anglers to experience the vast rewards of recreational fishing. KFEs are FREE, held statewide and have experienced volunteers on hand to help. Many events offer prizes, free lunches and other fun-filled activities – so make plans to attend a KFE today!

Take Me Fishing! ™ A recent national survey indicated that 87 percent of Americans believe fishing and boating have a positive effect on family relationships. So take your family fishing and you will always have something in common.

For more information on free fishing days, finding the nearest KFE or finding a place to fish, visit the WRD website at www.gofishgeorgia.com or call a WRD Fisheries Management Office. For more information on NFBW or the Take Me Fishing™ Campaign, visit the national website at www.takemefishing.org .