'Hooked on Fishing' program starts in July

May 02, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

Every year, the state puts out a casting call for children who want to learn how to fish.

"Hooked on Fishing, Not on Drugs" is a national program that started in 1986. A Florida teenager said he was faced with those two choices and picked fishing, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources' Web site.

Maryland adopted the program three years later.

It's held five days a week, three hours a day.

"Participants learn about watersheds, fishing techniques, freshwater ecology, food webs and local environmental issues," the DNR's Web site says. "Emphasis is given to safety, angler ethics, knot tying, casting, catch and release, and fish identification."

Donna Fahres, an angler education coordinator in the DNR's Watershed Services division, said the free program is great for children with no fishing background and no one in their family to help them learn.


Greenbrier State Park near Boonsboro is one of five sites for the class in the state. It usually fills up, so reservations should be made early, she said.

The first one-week class begins July 5. A new one starts each subsequent Monday.

Fahres said trout won't be at the park then, but bluegills and catfish will.

Each class can have up to 20 children from 8 to 15 years of age. There are separate morning and afternoon sessions.

The DNR supplies fishing gear. Children need to bring their own lunch.

To register, call Fahres at 410-260-8721 or go to the DNR's Web site at The Web site is regularly updated to show which classes have openings.

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