Mentoring & MinnAqua
I Can Fish! – Thousands of Casts Later
by Michael Kurre, Mentor Coordinator
From gills to smallmouth and perch to pike - you name it, they caught ’em. New anglers caught a little bit of everyting as part of the inaugural “I Can Fish!” program. In all, a total of eight Minnesota State Parks participated in the program which ran from early summer to its Labor Day “fin”-ally.
The “I Can Fish!” program paired MinnAqua/Naturalist Corp specialists with local anglers to provide free fishing, free use of equipment, free aquatic education opportunities and ample access to knowledgeable anglers. As a result, the program created lots of memories that will last a life time for hundreds of youths and families who took advantage of the weekly summer programming.
The local volunteer anglers, Park Naturalists and MinnAqua/Naturalist Corps interns were the keys to the program's success; their enthusiasm grew each week as the crowds learned of the hands-on angling opportunities available to them. The rewards for the participants were the skills, confidence and memories gained. The reward for the volunteers and staff was the smile on the face of every new angler with their prized catch. Many thanks go out to all the people who made this project a reality and a success. Because of these fine volunteers and dedicated state park employees, new anglers said on the last cast of the day “I Can Fish!”
You too can get involved or take advantage of the “I Can Fish!” program next year. If you would like to volunteer sharing your expertise in the outdoors or to provide an opportunity for your students, drop me a line. email Mike Kurre
Mark your calendar and start planning now for:
• Take A Kid Ice Fishing weekend is on February 19-21, 2011. You don’t need a license if you have a youth under age 16 actively fishing with you.
• Youth Waterfowl Day is Sept 18. This special day is all about connecting the sights and sounds of the slough with a youth 15 or younger and leaving your gun behind.
• Take A Kid Hunting weekend is September 25 and 26, 2010. Actively take a youth 15 or younger small game hunting and you can bypass the license requirements on this weekend. Take aim on a youth who might not normally experience the outdoors.
• Special Youth Deer Season opportunity is October 21-24, 2010 in the northwest and southeast corners of Minnesota. Take advantage of sharing your outdoors skills and provide a life-long memory.
For more youth information on all these outdoors opportunities visit Discover Outdoors.