The annual Exceptional Anglers event, Gone Fishin', Not Just Wishin', at Oak Mountain State Park will take place May 9-11, 2018. The event teaches basic fishing skills to students with special needs from the Shelby and Jefferson county school systems. Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Commissioner Chris Blankenship will attend the event on Media Day, which is May 11, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. The fishing and festivities will take place behind the park’s main office.
“We are blessed in Alabama with outstanding fishing opportunities,” said Commissioner Blankenship. “From our Department of Conservation managed county fishing lakes to the rivers of north and central Alabama to Mobile Bay, fishing is a wonderful recreational activity for people of all ages and abilities. I am looking forward to sharing a great day fishing with a fine group of exceptional anglers, staff, sponsors, and volunteers at Oak Mountain State Park.”
During the event, students will be given the opportunity to fish, participate in art projects, perform with local musicians, listen to storytellers, and learn aspects of water safety including the proper use of life jackets.
“Community fishing events like this serve many of Alabama’s children, seniors, and participants with special needs,” said Kasie McKee, Fisheries Biologist and Exceptional Anglers event coordinator for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “Without the hard work of our volunteers and the support of the sponsors, this event would not be possible. We are very grateful for their help in enriching the lives of these students.”
Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more information, contact Kasie McKee at 205-331-1266 or email Kasie.McKee@dcnr.alabama.gov.
Gone Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’ sponsors include the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Alabama Power Company, Spire Energy, Airport Marine, Alabaster City Schools, Bud’s Best Cookies, City of Pelham, Coca Cola, Consolidated Pipe and Supply, Golden Flake, Hoar Program Management, Jefferson County Adapted Physical Education, Jefferson County Board of Education and Transportation, Milo’s, Oak Mountain State Park, Outdoor Friends Forever, Pelham City Schools, Pelham police and fire departments, Publix, Shelby County Commission, Shelby County Schools,104.7 WZZK fm., and Ziegler Meats.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .