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News Release
September 15, 2003

COLUMBUS, OH -- Ohio educators and others who work with young people are urged to become active in a statewide natural resources and drug awareness program known as "Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs."

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife will host five workshops this fall to introduce educators and community counselors to this outdoor education program.

"Fishing is a fun and exciting way for students to make a connection with their surroundings. It offers many rewards, not just for the student, but also for their peers. 'The Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs' program may be their first opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing and begin a lifetime of enjoyment," said Marc Sommer, ODNR aquatic education coordinator.

Training workshops will be held at four of the state wildlife district headquarters from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the following days: September 26 in Akron; October 1 in Findlay; October 3 in Athens; and October 8 in Columbus. An October 24 workshop in Springfield will be held at the ODNR Division of Watercraft district office at Buck Creek State Park.

Each workshop is limited to 25 people. Individuals interested in participating must register at least five days in advance. Prior to the workshop, registrants will receive a confirmation notice and map of directions. The workshops are sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Future Fisherma Foundation.

Participants will receive teacher training and learn how to implement the "Hooked On Fishing" program in their communities. They will also receive free student materials, free fishing and aquatic exploration equipment, and become eligible for subsidy grants to help fund fishing events and other aquatic education activities. More than 100,000 kids across Ohio have been introduced to fishing through the program since 1993.

Individuals interested in registering for a workshop or who want to learn more about the "Hooked On Fishing - Not On Drugs" program can call 1-800-WILDLIFE.

For additional news online, check out the ODNR Press Room at
For Further Information Contact:
Marc Sommer, ODNR Division of Wildlife
(614) 265-6310
Andy Ware, ODNR Media Relations
(614) 265-6882

Additional information about fall trout releases is available from ODNR Division of Wildlife district offices in Akron, Athens, Columbus, Findlay, and Xenia; or by calling toll free 1-800-WILDLIFE.




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