by Scott Moeller
Chapter 4 of the Fishing: Get in the Habitat! Leader’s Guide contains five of the 39 lessons, all of which pertain to various aspects of fish management. If we want young anglers to grow up as responsible citizens and stewards of our natural resources, it is important that they understand that we all play an important role in fisheries management. The lessons in chapter 4 help emphasize why it is important that anglers follow established regulations and why management techniques are necessary. Lesson 4:5 – Fisheries Management and You is a thorough exploration and explanation of what fisheries management is, why it is necessary, and what the angler’s role in this management is.
Students play a game of Fisheries Management and You to become familiar with fisheries management techniques and tools. In so doing, students will discover that resource management is an ongoing partnership between government agencies charged to protect these resources and the citizens that use and enjoy them.
This lesson is a great lead-in to talking about any number of Minnesota current events with students. Use the game to begin discussions about current events affecting our environment such as the spread zebra mussels in Minnesota, public process for developing new fishing regulations, poaching, and more. Current MN DNR news releases are available online for viewing & printing.
Have students research where the nearest MN DNR fisheries office is located, and make contact with a fisheries manager. Invite a fisheries manager into the classroom, or plan a trip to a DNR fish hatchery or Aquatic Management Area.
Expand on the concept of wildlife management by exploring how other wildlife species are managed. What are the similarities to fish management? The differences? How do invasive species complicate fisheries and wildlife management? What other species of wildlife are students interested in learning about?
Because the cooperation of anglers is so critical to successful fisheries management, the activities in Lesson 4:1 – Fishing Regulations and Sportsmanship can be used in conjunction with this lesson. Students can more easily grasp issues like sportsmanship, stewardship, slowing the spread of invasive species, etc., when they understand the practical management reasons behind them.
Have your students access these online resources to engage in these concepts further.