It is generally recognized that getting young people involved in the outdoors benefits them in many ways. Research shows that children who engage in outdoor activities are happier and do better in school. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Inland Fisheries biologist Spencer Dumont of Abilene has some suggestions on how to make that happen.
“Many times over the years anglers have asked me what they can do to help make fishing better,” Dumont said. “Anglers have helped by providing tournament results, assisting with habitat projects, going electrofishing with us, and a few other things. However, there is another way, one that may be more important than anything else an angler can do: Introduce someone to fishing who has never been fishing before.”
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is an organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating and thereby increase public awareness and appreciation of the need to protect, conserve and restore this nation’s aquatic natural resources.
“My favorite RBFF program is the Angler’s Legacy Program,” Dumont said. “The concept is simple: Give back what you have been given (pay forward the gift of fishing) by promising to introduce somebody to fishing.”
The promise comes in the form of “taking the pledge” on the TAKE ME FISHING website, http://www.takemefishing.org/community/anglers-legacy/take-the-pledge.
As an Anglers’ Legacy Ambassador (one who has taken the pledge), a person vows to share the love of fishing with at least one new person each year; to pass on traditional skills and earned knowledge; to pay forward the thrill of fishing and their love of the great outdoors and commitment to a healthy environment with friends, family, neighbors, colleagues or anyone; and to give back what someone once gave them—the gift of fishing.
TPWD’s Inland Fisheries Division, in addition to providing the best possible fishing, strives to ensure the conservation of Texas’ aquatic natural resources through the continuous recruitment of anglers, the most important aquatic natural resource stewards.
“The Angler’s Legacy Program is a great opportunity for anglers to help support the future of fishing in Texas,” Dumont said. “Everybody in our office took the pledge to make a difference. We encourage you to do the same.”
Dumont encourages anyone interested in learning more about the Angler’s Legacy Program, either as a potential Ambassador or as someone new to fishing, to contact the Abilene Inland Fisheries district office at (325) 692-0921 or visit them on Facebook, www.facebook.com/tpwdifabilene.
Logo courtesy of Texas Parks and Wildlife