Web directory highlights family-friendly fishing lakes
Introducing youth to angling will be a bit easier using new web tools being prepared by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources' (DNR) MinnAqua and Fishing In The Neighborhood (FiN) programs.
"Taking children outside and using fishing as a fun way to explain environmental awareness and natural resource ownership is a rewarding experience," said Roland Sigurdson, MinnAqua education specialist. "But finding a family-friendly place to fish where children really catch fish isn't always easy."
FiN, which serves the seven-county metropolitan area, and MinnAqua, the DNR's aquatic education program, are assembling guides that list ideal places to introduce excitable, young anglers to the sport of fishing. FiN's booklet will list 50 metropolitan area small lakes and ponds that are managed by the FiN program. MinnAqua's online guide will list family-friendly lakes in greater Minnesota.
Listings for each location will contain information about species available and successful fishing techniques; driving directions; kid- and family-friendly amenities such as fishing piers, trails, bathrooms, parking, playgrounds, picnic areas, beaches and concession stands; and handicap accessibility.
"Using these guides can make it a lot easier to help kids connect with fishing and get hooked on the outdoors," Sigurdson said. "Visiting one or more of these lakes also is great way to spend time with your own children."
FiN works with local partners such as park and recreation departments to create safe family settings in residential areas. FiN will stock fish, conduct population assessments, install fishing structures and restore shoreline habitat.
MinnAqua is a statewide education program designed to teach angling recreation and stewardship as well as the ecology and conservation of aquatic habitats. Using a curriculum that meets academic standards, MinnAqua education specialists and interns partner with schools, youth groups and community organizations to conduct fishing and aquatic education programs throughout the state.
For information about the guides and to find family -friendly fishing lakes, check online at www.mndnr.gov/takemefishing.