Mission: To promote stewardship and fishing by connecting pond owners with kids from local school systems or organizations.
The Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) partners with pond owners, organizations, and schools to provide fishing opportunities for Alabama's youth. The program's goal is to develop a mentoring relationship between the pond owner and the child's family. The pond owner passes along a heritage of natural resources stewardship, while kids and their families learn how to fish and receive the benefits of enjoying the outdoors, improved communication, relaxation, and constructive use of leisure time. The Division benefits by having more avid anglers and advocates for Alabama's natural resources.
The program begins with the identification of pond owners appropriate for the program. Pond owners are selected based upon a variety of factors including their willingness to host students, the pond's location and condition, and bank angling accessibility. Local school systems and organizations are then contacted to determine their interest. Once a school or organization has been selected, they accept the initial responsibility for transportation to and from the pond and supervision of students and their family.
Brenda Morrison with WFF coordinates the program. The Division provides fishing equipment and bait for the initial fishing event.
Guidelines for the Pond Owners Mentoring Kids Program:
Release of liability for pond owner and state agency.
Appropriate supervision while fishing.
Pond owner agrees to provide angling opportunities.
Anglers keep fishing area litter free.
State agency provides tackle and equipment.
Criteria for Pond Selection:
Location convenient to school or organization.
Appearance of pond is neat and clean.
Availability of bathroom facilities.
Covered pavilion or shaded area for eating lunch, etc.
Pond Owner Interview and Selection Process:
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.
Furnishes transportation to the pond.
Selection of students.
Small groups of students/parents.
Collect release of liability forms on all participants.
Complete evaluation after event.
Teachers Use the Pond Owners Mentoring Kids Program to Promote and Encourage:
Reward for good behavior.
Learning disabled students.
Students that have never fished or have limited exposure.
For the Initial Fishing Event WFF Will Provide:
Rods and reels.
Bait and tackle supplies.
Angling coaching assistance.