While you might be aware that National Fishing and Boating Week is coming up from June 3rd through 11th of 2023, have you thought about new ways to honor our nation’s waterways and the enjoyment they provide? Check out these eight ways you can celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week while setting an example or giving back to pastimes that mean so much to us.
1. Get involved in fisheries research or habitat restoration projects. Contact a local conservation organization to find out about specific ways to help with fisheries research or projects that make a positive impact in your area. Healthy fisheries and habitats are always synonymous with the best fishing spots.
2. Take a boating safety course and share boating safety tips with new boaters. Boating safety courses are offered through organizations such as the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, the BoatUS Foundation, and by the National Safe Boating Council. These courses include education on the types of fishing and boating gear to have on board for safety purposes.
3. Pick up liter on your boating adventures. When you head out on the waterways this month, take an extra trash can or bag along to collect any liter you see along the shorelines or in the water. This encourages everyone in your family to have a greater respect for the outdoors and sets a positive example for others.
4. Be extra focused on practicing proper catch and release on your fishing adventures. Responsible fish handling, sustainable fishing practices, and ethical angling will all contribute to healthy fisheries for future generations of anglers. Share sustainable fishing tips with new anglers.
5. Encourage your family and friends to get out on the water. When a new angler or boater gets a fishing and boating license, funds from the sale of fishing licenses go toward state conservation programs including fisheries management, habitat protection and fishing education. Boating licenses also contribute to the safety of our state waterways.
6. Learn how buying certain fishing and boating equipment can contribute to conservation. An excise tax of 10% to 11% on most fishing sports equipment products is dedicated to the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration programs, which are used for the maintenance and enhancement of our nation’s wildlife populations. This tax shows how investing in conservation and rehabilitation projects that benefit game species, as well as nongame species, can bring significant economic returns.
7. When traveling to the best boating destinations (or any boating destinations), find out how to protect our waterways from aquatic invasive species. This includes cleaning any visible mud, plants, fish, or animals before transporting equipment; draining water holding compartments; and drying boats before using them in another waterway.
8. Share fishing tips and experiences with someone new to the sport. When you introduce friends or family to the outdoors, they usually fall in love with the beautiful natural places they visit and want to help protect them. By sharing your passion for fishing and boating, you might help create a new conservationist or advocate for our waterways.
Put together a plan for learning something new or giving back during National Fishing and Boating Week by using a few of these suggestions.