U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Hall Shows Schoolchildren How to Catch Fish on National Mall

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In June of 2006, Secretary Kempthorne joined more than 300 elementary school students to kick off National Fishing and Boating Week by fishing for bass, yellow perch and bluegill in the pond at Constitution Gardens on the National Mall in Washington, DCTo help kick off  National Fishing and Boating Week, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director H. Dale Hall joined more than 300 students from Washington, D.C. schools to fish for largemouth bass, perch and bluegill at Constitution Gardens pond on the National Mall.

Hall was joined by officials from the National Park Service, the District of Columbia, other federal agencies, and conservation organizations in leading students in a ceremonial castoff to mark the beginning of the week.

National Fishing and Boating Week is a national celebration recognizing the importance of fishing and boating held annually during the first full week in June. It is coordinated by one of the Service’s partners, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation.

“When a child catches their first fish, they take their first step towards forging a lasting personal connection to the natural world,” Hall said. “It would appear we have been describing this simple activity wrong all along. We don’t hook the fish, fishing hooks us. I encourage everyone to take advantage of National Fishing and Boating Week and get outside, get on the water, and get hooked.”

Interior Department volunteers included personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. Other partners included the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, and the District of Columbia Fisheries and Wildlife Division. Non-governmental partners included the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation, Trout Unlimited, and Cast for Kids.

Event sponsors supplied fishing gear and helped students to learn about fishing equipment and techniques, fish biology and to try their hand at landing a lunker bass or a feisty sunfish.

Many states do not require a fishing license during the annual celebration week and hold fishing clinics, casting contests, derbies, fish hatchery open houses and other family-oriented activities.  Hundreds of communities also sponsor their own fishing and boating-related events.

For more information on where you can enjoy National Fishing and Boating Week, go to www.takemefishing.org.

National Fishing and Boating Week events sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can be found at:

http://www.fws.gov/home/feature/2008/pdf/2008NFBWeekEvents2.pdf and http://www.fws.gov/refuges/SpecialEvents/FWS_SpecialEvents_Search.cfm

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.