Oak Mountain State Park near Birmingham will host the annual Exceptional Anglers event called “Gone Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’” on May 8-10, 2013. During the event special needs students from the Shelby and Jefferson county school systems, ages five to 21 with various physical and mental challenges, will be given the opportunity to fish. Students will also participate in art projects, perform with local musicians, listen to storytellers, and learn aspects of water safety including the proper use of life jackets.

The media are encouraged to experience the event between 9-11 a.m. on Media Day, Thursday, May 9. The fishing and festivities will take place behind the park’s main office.

“This event serves hundreds of people who might not otherwise have access to a fishing experience such as this,” said N. Gunter Guy, Jr., Commissioner, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR).  “Without the hard work of our volunteers and the support of the sponsors this event would not be possible. We are very grateful for their help in enriching the lives of these students.”

Volunteers from many companies including ADCNR personnel will assist and teach students the basics of fishing. Students will each receive a keepsake photo of themselves with their catch. To make the experience a positive one, a small portion of the park’s lake will be enclosed and stocked with channel catfish and largemouth bass to make it easier to catch a fish.

Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are still available. Contact ADCNR representatives Jerry Moss, 205-331-1390 or Jerry.Moss@dcnr.alabama.gov, or Brenda Morrison, 205-477-6301 or Brenda.Morrison@dcnr.alabama.gov, for more details.

Logo courtesy Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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