Creature Feature

Creature Feature – Take a Kid Fishing

Posted by  //  June 12, 2023  //  Articles, Creature Feature

As both a parent and an active angler, I advocate for youth involvement in fishing because of the positive impact the sport has had on my own family.  I wish every kid could experience the joys associated with fishing.  By mentoring young anglers, we lead by example, teaching respect for the resource.  We also create opportunities that foster healthy connections between youths and nature.  Think about it:  kids that get “hooked on fishing” may better avoid the pitfalls that threaten today’s youth. As well, they are more likely to invest in the future of the fishery.  Today’s anglers and other outdoor sports enthusiasts are more aware of the interconnectivity between human, animal and environmental health.  If we take care of our natural resources, they can better take care of us and future generations.

Following fishing regulation seasons and catch limits, handling fish properly, and taking measures to prevent the spread of invasive species are well known ways that we can support a robust fishery.  What many anglers don’t realize, however, is that lead fishing tackle is linked to neurological damage and behavioral changes in fish.  With increasing &/or chronic exposure to lead, abnormalities such as black tail, fin degeneration, a decrease in mucous production, spinal curvature, muscular atrophy, and paralysis have been documented in fish.  A powerful neurotoxin, lead (even in lower concentrations) induces hyperactivity in freshwater fish like largemouth bass, and can prevent trout from spawning.  Switching to lead-free tackle is another valuable way mentors can lead by example and invest in the future of the fishery.

Article & photo by Margie Manthey

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