Young anglers needed for the future

Most of you reading this already know the countless benefits in taking kids fishing and exploring the great outdoors. Over the last decade there has been a decline in the total number of people who are fly fishing, which is a concern for those who make a living in the industry, but it goes well beyond that.  Fewer people buying fishing licenses means less funding for conservation measures and fewer kids growing up as stewards of the resources.

Field & Stream recently listed Michigan as the number one state in the country for fly fishing, and yet Michigan residents don’t seem to be taking advantage of that.

This article from The Bridge spells it out and is worth a read.

Without an immediate solution to the funding crisis for fish and wildlife programs, the DNR and several conservation groups have stepped up efforts to recruit a new generation of conservation-minded hunters and anglers. But that can be a tough sell in a digital world, where kids can partake in virtual hunting and fishing trips via video games…

“The main thing is just getting kids outdoors, whether it’s to go fishing, bird watching, or hunting for morel mushrooms,” he said. “Just pick something that’s in season and do it.”

Tom Heritier, president of the Saginaw Field and Stream Club, said he fears that legions of children raised on Facebook, Twitter and video games will never experience the beauty of fishing at sunrise, the joy of seeing an eagle soar, or learn the intrinsic value of clean air, clean water and healthy fish and wildlife populations.

“If they have no exposure to nature, they have no idea what they need to conserve,” Heritier said. “We are supposed to be stewards of our environment but if somebody doesn’t have a clue about how nature works, they won’t do anything to protect it.”

 

Click HERE to read the full article.

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