Passport to Fishing & Boating

Attracting newcomers to the sport – especially young people – is a cornerstone of the RBFF mission. And the Passport to Fishing & Boating Program has proven to be a successful, engaging youth education campaign.

The Passport to Fishing & Boating Program provides skills, techniques and information that novices need to begin boating and fishing in their communities. Each of the six hands-on stations focuses on a key participation aspect and includes strong conservation messages. Straightforward, effective, inexpensive and FUN, the Passport Program is designed to be:

  • Administered by expert or lay volunteers
  • Adjustable to highlight geography, activities and species unique to a particular area
  • Appealing to varying age and interest groups
  • Appropriate for mixed skill and education levels
  • Adaptable to diverse settings, whether landlocked or at the water’s edge
  • Accessible throughout the year

PLANNING

Passport to Fishing & Boating Program features six different hands-on stations with activities focused on fishing, boating and aquatic stewardship. These stations are easy to teach, with scripts and all materials provided, and developed for family participation. The program allows each person to actively participate in the boating and fishing stations.

In order to plan a successful Passport Program event, we offer helpful guides for the process:

  • Preparation
  • Participants
  • Pre-Registration
  • Location
  • Materials
  • Event Day 
  • Program Evaluation

STATIONS

Six different "hands-on" stations with activities focused on fishing, boating and aquatic stewardship have been developed for family participation. The program is designed to give participants the chance to be actively involved in each of the activities. Studies show that information is remembered better when participants physically do things and actively think about the activity compared to when they listen to a lecture of the same material.

Six groups of about 10 people each, rotate between the six stations, accommodating a total of 60 people at one time. Stations may be completed in any order. Reading levels and activities are designed for 4th grade, about age 10, with whole family participation.

The Program takes about an hour and 45 minutes for participants to rotate through all six stations:

  • Fish Habitat & Handling Station
    Section one has participants build a watershed to help them understand how to promote healthy places to fish and boat. Section two teaches the parts of a fish and how to handle and release them safely.
  • Fishing Knots & Rigging Station
    Participants learn how to assemble a basic rigging – including how to tie a Clinch knot – that is environmentally friendly and how to identify baits, lures and flies that attract fish.
  • Casting Station
    Following safety instruction, participants get their hands on rods with push-button spincast reels for practical learning and practice casting at targets. Casting from a boat is also covered.
  • Smart Boating, Safe Boating Station
    A virtual boat ride teaches participants the importance of wearing life jackets and how to select them properly; then it explores Reach, Throw, Row and Go rescue techniques.
  • Ready, Set, Boat Station
    In this boating basics station, a special game of charades introduces participants to a variety of boating activities, while segment two teaches about essential equipment and how to load a boat.
  • Local Information Station
    Since boating and fishing regulations vary widely, this station gives you the opportunity to customize content to rules, fish identification, places to fish and boat, and opportunities unique to your state.

REQUEST

Gain access to the Passport to Fishing & Boating Program resources, which include:

  • Content outline, presentation tips and materials list.
  • Program overview packet and six station guide packets.
  • Content and templates for passports, handouts and evaluation forms.
  • Artwork/graphic files for additional program materials. NOTE: You will need to print and/or re-produce these items on your own.
    • 1 fish image card (4” x 6”)
    • 1 Healthy Habitat poster
    • 1 Fish Handling poster
    • 1 Knot Tying poster
    • 1 Fishing Equipment poster
    • 1 Boat Mat (4’ x 10’)
    • 1 Safe Boating poster (8.5” x 11”)
    • 24 Boating Equipment Cards (Use as substitutes when actual equipment is unavailable)
    • 12 Boating Activity Cards (6” x 6”)
    • 11 Fish Cutouts

To request access to the Passport Program resources, please follow the below steps:

  • Email Jim Hemenway at jhemenway@rbff.org with your
    • First Name
    • Last Name
    • State
    • Zip Code
  • RBFF will then send the access information to the email address provided, which will allow you to download the files.

EVALUATION

If you have already held your Passport Program event, you and your volunteers may have experiences that will be valuable for program improvement. Please talk with those involved and share anything that you think would be helpful. Once the event is completed, your mind usually runs to what you will do next time. Please give us the benefit of your experiences and help our program grow.

An Evaluation Form can be downloaded below. Please use it to report your thoughts to the Passport Working Group. We have worked hard to develop a program with flexibility, adaptability, and fun; but we are certain you also have ideas to offer. Let us hear from you.

Download Passport Program Evaluation (PDF)