Learn 2 Fish Pro­gram is for Chil­dren and Fam­i­lies

The Victoria Standard - - Natural Resources - HAL­I­FAX

All ages can ben­e­fit from ex­panded Learn 2 Fish pro­grams be­ing of­fered this spring around the prov­ince.

For the first time, a com­mu­nity event for adults and chil­dren is be­ing of­fered in each recre­ational fish­ing area. Learn 2 Fish teaches the ba­sics of sport­fish­ing, along with ethics and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship.

"Learn 2 Fish is one of our de­part­ment's most pop­u­lar pro­grams, re­flect­ing the over­all in­ter­est in sport­fish­ing," said Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture Min­is­ter Keith Col­well. "Th­ese ses­sions help to in­ter­est younger Nova Sco­tians in angling and can plant the seeds for a life­long love of the out­doors that will en­sure sport­fish­ing con­tin­ues to ben­e­fit the econ­omy of our ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties."

The free com­mu­nity ses­sions are or­ga­nized by staff of the De­part­ment of Fish­eries and Aqua­cul­ture or vol­un­teers from lo­cal sport­fish­ing or­ga­ni­za­tions. Par­tic­i­pants will be shown how to as­sem­ble ba­sic tackle, cast­ing with both open and closed-face reels and proper han­dling for catch-an­drelease. They will be able to keep their fish if they choose.

All ages are wel­come and early ar­rival is rec­om­mended as par­tic­i­pa­tion is on a first come, first served ba­sis. Chil­dren will need to be ac­com­pa­nied by an adult par­ent or guardian.

This ini­tia­tive builds on the suc­cess of Learn 2 Fish for school-aged groups. More than 15,000 youth have gained in­tro­duc­tory angling skills since the pro­gram be­gan in 2006. The pro­gram is for youth from grades 4 to high school, and in­cludes 4-H Clubs, scouts and guides and oth­ers. Vol­un­teers and staff will be run­ning th­ese ses­sions in May and June, based on strong en­rol­ment from Fe­bru­ary.

The Learn 2 Fish pro­gram is sup­ported by the three pro­vin­cial hatch­eries, which stock the lake or pond with trout so that youth are more likely to catch a fish. If you can­not make it to a com­mu­nity Learn 2 Fish ses­sion, you can al­ways take your fam­ily fish­ing at a stocked lake.

Check out https://no­vas­co­tia. ca/fish/sport­fish­ing/hatch­ery-stock­ing/stock­ing-up­date/ for a weekly up­date.

Com­mu­nity Learn 2 Fish Ses­sions are sched­uled for:

- South Ohio, Yar­mouth Co., at a pri­vate pond about four kilo­me­tres south of Moodys Cor­ner, May 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.

- Up­per Tan­tallon, Hal­i­fax Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, Jerry Lawrence Park, 4775 St. Mar­garets Bay Rd, May 27, from noon to 2 p.m. with part­ner Five Bridges Her­itage Trust

- St. Croix, Hants Co., St. Croix Pond, Ball Park Road, June 2, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., with part­ner Hants West Wildlife As­so­ci­a­tion

- Glace Bay, Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, #20 Dam, John Bernard Croak Me­mo­rial Park, 53 Bea­con St., June 16, from 6 to 8 p.m. with part­ner Port Morien Wildlife As­so­ci­a­tion

- Truro, Ki­wa­nis Pond, 32 Ju­niper St., June 21 from 6 to 8 p.m.

- Tren­ton Park, 119 Park Rd., June 24 from 2 to 4 p.m.

For more de­tails, call 902485-7021.

Grade 11 student Dusty Bernard of Wag­mat­cookewey School looks on as RCMP Cst. Dar­ren Sylvester helps Wag­mat­cook Elder Josephine Peck thread bait on to a hook. Peck joined stu­dents on the May 4 fish­ing trip to Valley Mills. The school trip is part of the Fish­ing for Our Elders project cre­ated by Sylvester and Bernard. The pair trav­elled to RCMP De­pot Divi­sion in Regina, Saskatchewan last year as part of the RCMP’S Youth Lead­er­ship Pro­gram. While in Regina they were tasked with cre­at­ing a com­mu­nity ac­tion plan to en­gage young peo­ple in the com­mu­nity and to help foster pos­i­tive re­la­tion­ships be­tween RCMP of­fi­cers and youth. All the speck­led trout caught dur­ing the class trips to Valley Mills will be used in an up­com­ing feast for elders at Wag­mat­cook Elders Cen­tre.

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