News / FAF Provides Product to Shawnee National Forest Kids Fishing Derbies

FAF Provides Product to Shawnee National Forest Kids Fishing Derbies

On a rainy Saturday June 4th, Angler Educator Nick Schmal, Executive Director of the Future Angler Foundation (FAF) and National Professional Anglers Association (NPAA) Member #123, visited and participated in two fishing derbies on the Shawnee National Forest in Southern Illinois.  One derby was located at the Oakwood Bottoms reservoir (20 youth and 16 adults) and the other at Lake Glendale (42 youth and 51 adults).  Volunteers, parents, and sponsors introduced the anglers to the skills needed to go fishing, fish identification as well as understanding the importance of clean water and how to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species using the Clean, Drain and Dry message.

The young anglers caught bluegills, yellow perch and catfish. Some entered a casting contest. Others created their own fish ink t-shirts. There was also a fish tattoo and coloring station Smokey Bear attended.  Awards were presented to the winners of the casting and big fish contests.  All anglers and parents were treated to a hot dog cookout following the derbies. These events would not have been possible without the support of numerous sponsors including the Friends of Shawnee, Friends of Turkey Bayou, Ducks Unlimited, National Wild Turkey Federation, NPAA, FAF, Shawnee National Forest staff, and several local businesses and residents.

After the two derbies, each of the participants received a Future Pro shirt thanks to the NPAA and a fishing rod/reel combo provided by the Future Angler Foundation in addition to goodie bags filled with useful fishing information.

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