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There is a lot to be learned in a 12-15 hour training session. Project FISH (Friends Involved in Sportfishing Heritage) will be in communities throughout Michigan to educate interested teachers and volunteers on the fine art of fishing and the importance of caring for Michigan's vital aquatic resources. Each training session will have the same theme "Let's get kids to care for our aquatic resources by learning to fish".

Project FISH is a mentor based community supported program that will involve many partners including schools, 4-H, sportfishing organizations, and mentoring groups within the community. Project FISH is a Michigan State University, Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resources Studies (CARRS) education program in cooperation with the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan State University Extension and Michigan United Conservation Clubs. Our goal in Michigan communities is to educate interested teachers and volunteers with our very exciting and hands on activities and lessons and leave them with the materials and resources to get kids excited about fishing. Here are the main components of Project FISH:

Michigan Aquatic Ecology: Learn about the things that make our aquatic ecosystems tick by using some very interesting activities involving our Great Lakes watersheds, invertebrates and neat sampling experiments designed to get you INVOLVED. Participants will be given a Pond and Stream Safari education kit for use in their programs. Additional resources and contacts will be given to teachers for follow up and continued support.

People and Fish: "How many fish are in that pond and what effect do I have on them?" These are the types of questions that will come up in this fish management and ethics session. What is the difference between an ethic and a regulation? You'll learn this as well as come up with your own code of ethics. You may learn more about a person by exploring their tackle box. Find out about Great Lakes issues and human involvement, like commercial vs. sportfishing, allocation and game laws. You may even say "hmm" a few times. Catch a fish, put it on your shirt, permanently!

Tackle Crafting: This session will get you making the equipment you can use to catch fish. You will use what you learned in aquatic ecology to reproduce an artificial tool for your attempt at catching fish. Fly tying, jig making, snelling hooks and creating worm/crawler harness are only a few ingredients of this part of Project FISH. Each participant will be given the materials for making harnesses and the knowledge to make these and other look-alikes. In addition, resources for expertise and partners will be given to all participants. This class is a lot of fun.

Angling Skills: This class is the bread and butter. How do I use this fishing pole? Pop can casting and basic skills will lead to proficiency with a variety of rod and reel types. Learn how to catch bass in your backyard and receive the game to teach you and your youth. You will also find the sources of materials to get kids actively involved with fishing, and they can do it in their own backyard. Take home a fishing rod for inspiration and a learning/teaching tool.

During your Project FISH training, you will be introduced to a variety of individuals and organizations in your area to call on for assistance and expertise. Don't miss this chance to become involved in introducing this education style to your community. IT'S FOR THE KIDS!

Project FISH (Friends Involved in Sportfishing Heritage) invites teachers, educators and volunteers to workshops throughout Michigan focusing on:

"Sportfishing and Aquatic Resource Education."

Coordinated by Michigan State University's, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Project FISH has partnered with schools, agencies, sportsman organizations and communities throughout Michigan to educate young people about our natural resources through "FISHING."

Attending any of these workshops will provide you with materials and partnerships to assist you in developing hands-on outdoor community education. These workshops will offer activities in Aquatic Ecology, Tackle Crafting, People and Fish Management and actual Angling Skills. "All activities are designed to the Michigan MEAP & DOE Frameworks." Participants will come away with activities, equipment, even a fishing rod & reel and an embroidered hat or T-shirt. Workshop is partially funded through a grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust.

For registration information contact Mark Stephens at 517-432-2700. Registration Deadlines are 2-3 weeks prior to the workshop date. Early registrations will insure your participation, as space is limited.

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