HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has just the right catch for those seeking a last minute stocking stuffer for the young angler in their lives. And the price is a keeper too: free.
A series of print-them-yourself coupons is available from the PFBC Web site. The coupons entitle the bearer to a variety of fishing and boating opportunities ranging from the promise of an outing on the water to an “off the hook certificate” allowing a free pass on mischief in return for a task such as organizing the tackle box or cleaning the boat.
The coupons are produced by takemefishing.org, a project of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need for protecting, conserving and restoring thisnation’s aquatic natural resources. “Take Me Fishing” is the national advertising brand and campaign that increases awareness about fishing and boating.
The commission has embraced RBFF as a partner as the foundation’s mission closely mirrors the agency’s own ideals — particularly as it relates to engaging youth. Statistics from the National Survey of Hunting, Fishing and WildlifeRecreation show that in 1980, 26 percent of Pennsylvania kids aged 6-15 fished. In 1995, that number climbed to 41 percent, but dropped to 35 percent in 2000.
While at the commission Web site, also check out the Pennsylvania League of Angling Youth, another free offering for those ages 8-12. PLAY is designed to help youngsters learn about fish, fishing, conservation, safety and watersof Pennsylvania through informative quarterly newsletters.