You can’t learn everything from reading a book. Hands-on experience can be just as valuable, but even more valuable can be the experience learned from a mentor. Recently, students from Collins-Riverside Middle School in Northport, Ala., learned more than just how to fish, they learned the importance of building relationships with the pond owner.

Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grade students fished Bennie Adams’ pond in Hale Co., Ala. on May 4. The students learned about fishing safety, how to cast, how to fish, and that successful fishing also involves learning about the aquatic environment. The event was facilitated by the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division (WFF) and Diane Farnham, Gifted and Talented teacher with Collins-Riverside Middle School.

The students were also offered a return fishing trip with their parents after the event. “The goal is to develop a mentoring relationship between the student, their families and the pond owner. Fishing is an excellent activity to learn good communication skills,” said Brenda Morrison, WFF Biologist Aide. “Many families need a place to fish, and volunteers such as Mr. Bennie have stepped up to meet that need.”

According to Farnham the fishing trip has been the talk of Collins-Riverside. “The photos on the Conservation website are awesome, and portray the fun the students experienced!” Farnham said. “They had a blast during the trip, but the real value of the trip may occur later when they start building relationships beyond this event.”

To view photos of the Collins-Riverside Middle School fishing trip visit .

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit


Doug Darr (334) 242-3884

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