Rhode Island Saltwater Fishing
Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association
Fishing Camp at Rocky Point!
By John Lake, RIDEM Marine Section
Rhode Island Fish and Wildlife and the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA) are partnering to provide an annual youth fishing camp at Rocky Point State Park. The new program is the result of a successful pilot camp held by RISAA last June 28-30 at the park. RISAA is a very active, large recreational fishing organization based in the state of Rhode Island. An overview of the association can be found on their website: www.risaa.org. The pilot fishing camp took place June 28 – 30, 2016 and was funded completely by RISAA. The camp involved both classroom style instruction coupled with hands on experience. Local volunteers, RIDEM staff, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, and City of Warwick staff combined their talents and resources to deliver a well-rounded camp experience. Parents, volunteers and most importantly the kids had a great positive experience. Topics covered included fish identification, fishing regulations, use of spinning and conventional tackle, basic marine biology, how and why to use different baits and lures, boating safety, and most importantly, how to catch a fish. By far, the camp’s most popular program was fishing, the children thoroughly enjoyed catching fish from both shore and boats. The camp ended on a high note as children received certificates of completion for the three day fishing camp.
This pilot program’s intent was to show proof of concept, its resounding success was immediately apparent and identified a need for the activity to continue forward into the future. Until now, there have been no standing dedicated Saltwater Fishing community based instructional programs in Rhode Island. Youth programs have been recognized as important to keeping vitality in the recreational fishing industry as well as developing a more informed and responsible fishing populace. After all if our youth are our future, it is our responsibility to educate them and spark the passion that will foster new stewardship for saltwater fishing. The funding for the camp will be provided by monies generated from the sale of Rhode Island saltwater recreational fishing licenses matched with federal funds from the US Fish and Wildlife Service Sportfish Restoration Fund. The three day camp will be run by RISAA with RIDEM participation and oversight. The camp will accommodate 50 children between the ages of 7 and 14. For more information about the camp check out the RIDEM Aquatic Education’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/rioutdooreducation. Happy Fishing.