Passport to Fishing is a free program developed by the Ohio Division of Wildlife to teach kids, age 17 and under, basic fishing skills such as casting, knot tying, fish habitat and other local issues.
“This is the third year they’ve been doing this program. Usually about two a year, so we might do another one later this summer. We’re not sure yet,” said Jeff Montavon, an educator with SWCD.
Jennifer Foster brought her younger brother Zachary Davenport out to learn about fishing for his 4-H project.
“He’s doing fishing for beginners, so to answer a lot of the questions in his 4-H book we came out here to talk to a nature expert,” Foster said.
Zachary has participated in 4-H since he was 5-years old, and said he really enjoys fishing. Once he even caught a 21.5-inch small mouth bass fishing by the twin bridges.
“I’m just out here today having fun,” Zachary said, as he practiced tying knots into his fishing line.
After practicing their knots, the kids practiced casting their lines on dry land aiming for colorful plastic fish. Then they put their new skills to work, fishing for real at Turkey Creek.
According to SWCD, fishing not only gives young people an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and learn about the environment, but also helps build self-esteem, motor skills, and a connection to the community.
“Mainly it’s just about getting outside and doing things. Not just sitting in front of a TV or video game. Also at the same time, teaching them that when they do go fishing they need to pick up after themselves because if they leave it behind it could make its way into the water and hurt the fish habitat,” Montavon said.
For more information about SWCD or the Passport to Fishing program, visit them online at www.sciotoswcd.org.