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Pond Owners Mentoring Kids

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Pond Owners Mentoring Kids

Sport Fish Restoration

Mission: To promote stewardship and fishing by linking pond owners with kids from local school systems or organizations.

The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division partners with pond owners and schools to provide fishing opportunities to youth. One goal of the program is initiate relationships between the pond owner and individual families. The pond owner passes along a heritage of natural resources stewardship. Kids and their families learn to fish and receive the benefits of enjoying the out-of-doors: increased communication, relaxation, and constructive use of leisure time. The Division creates more avid anglers and advocates for natural resources.
Pond Fishing
The program begins with the identification of pond owners appropriate for the program. Pond owners were selected based upon the condition of their pond, accessibility of the area, and their suitability to host students.

Pond owners with participantLocal school systems are then contacted for their interest. Because schools are often struggling for resources, commitment by school administrators has been more difficult than predicted. Schools provide initial supervision of students along with their parents and transportation to and from the pond.

Brenda Morrison with the Division initiates and coordinates the program with the pond owners and schools. The Division provides fishing equipment and bait for school events.

This program is not a way to produce a large number of new anglers, but the Pond Owner Mentoring program may produce a few anglers and greatly impact a few individuals.

Guidelines for the Pond Owners Mentoring Kids Program is:
  • Release of liability for pond owner and state agency.
  • Appropriate supervision while fishing.
  • Pond owner agrees to provide angling opportunities.
  • Angler keeps fishing area litter free.
  • State agency will provide tackle and equipment.
Catching a bassCriteria for Pond Selection:
  • Good fishing.
  • Location convenient to school or organization.
  • Appearance of pond is neat and clean.
  • Bathroom facilities availability.
  • Covered pavilion or shaded area for eating lunch, etc.
Pond Owner Interview and Selection Process:
  • Environmental steward.
  • Enjoys working with kids.
  • Promotes good pond management.
  • Accepts liability waivers.
  • Will allow parents and kids angling opportunities after initial event.
Criteria for School or Organization Selection:
  • Convenient location to the pond.
  • Receptive to outdoor programs.
  • Furnish transportation to the pond.
  • Selection of students.
  • Small groups of students/parents.
  • Collect release of liability forms on all participants.
  • Complete evaluation after event.
Initial fishing skills are taught to participants.Teachers Use the Pond Owners Mentoring Kids Program to Promote and Encourage:
  • Good grades.
  • Leadership rewards.
  • Reward for good behavior.
  • Learning disabled students.
  • Students that have never fished or have limited exposure.
For the Initial Fishing Event WFF Division Will Provide:
  • Casting classes.
  • Safety training.
  • Rods and reels.
  • Bait and tackle supplies.
  • Angling coaching assistance.

Catching "Backyard Bass" with practice plugsPictures of Events:

Abrams Elementary School, Jefferson County

Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Tuscaloosa County

Caslen Elementary in Mobile County

Collins-Riverside Middle School, Tuscaloosa County

Delta Elementary in Baldwin County

Jemison Middle School, Chilton County

Myrtlewood Elementary School, Tuscaloosa County

Pike County Boys & Girls Club, Pike County

 

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