4-H introduces students to fishing education

Kyler Jordan has been fishing before and likes it. “My aunt has a house by the lake and my other grandmother used to have a lake house at Smith Lake,” Jordan said. He had caught a catfish before while out fishing.

LYNN - One of the favorite pastimes of youth and grownups alike is the relaxation and excitement of fishing, especially when you hook and reel in a big one. Many youth today have never been fishing however. Kerri Roberts, the county 4-H Extension agent, sought a way to remedy this.

Roberts contacted Sgt. William Freeman of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, Enforcement Section, District IV, about giving fishing lessons concerning identification, rules and regulations. He was recommended by Ernie Stephens, game warden. He agreed, and two days were set for the fishing school: Double Springs Elementary School on Feb. 24, and Lynn Elementary School on Feb. 25.

Roberts began by instructing the kids, one grade at a time, on how to cast. Afterwards, students had the opportunity to play Backyard Bass, where points were given depending on the color of the fish which was “caught.” After each student had a turn, a group would move over to Freeman, who gave information on careers on fishing and the proper licensing required to fish.

“It gives them something different to do and introduces them (to fishing),” Roberts said, who was helped with the instruction by April Hill, the regional extension agent for food safety and quality. “It gives them a taste for fishing, and we’re able to do it in the winter in the gym.”
Plans for the future include Freeman coming back for outdoor activities, such as instructing how to age a fish by their eardrums.

“Any kind of conservation education is what our department wants,” Freeman said.

DSES Principal Heather Tucker agreed this was a fun, yet educational opportunity for students.

“We truly appreciate the Alabama Fish and Wildlife and the Winston County Extension Office for providing this tremendous opportunity for our kids,” Tucker said. “This gives students a chance to learn about a new sport they can enjoy for a lifetime.”

See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.
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