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Jacksonville District Employees Introduce Kids to Fishing at Hanna Park

Children line the shore to learn how to fish
A father teaches his daughter how to cas

Lake: Jacksonville District Office

Partners: USACE; Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission; City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation

Corps POC: Heather Burke

Story: The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) partnered with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and the City of Jacksonville Parks and Recreation Department to host a youth free fishing derby on June 5, 2004 in conjunction with National Trails Day. Children under the age of 13 were invited to come out to Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park in Jacksonville, Florida to have fun and learn how to fish on the park’s 60-acre freshwater pond. Sponsors including Sports Authority, Wal-Mart, Sport Fish Restoration, and Thrifty Hunting Supplies provided raffle prize donations that were drawn throughout the event. The FWC provided loaner rod, tackle, and bait free of charge. This year’s event was a great success with a crowd of 131 youth participants ranging in age from 2 to 13, and approximately an additional 150 adults. The kids were so eager to fish that they started showing up an hour before the event to try their hand at fishing. The weather was a perfect sunny 80 degrees and the kids had a great time catching the stocked catfish and large mouth bass. Volunteers from the community, the FWC, and the Sports Authority roamed the shoreline to assist where needed. Kevin Salvilla and Heather Burke, outdoor recreation planners for the Corps engaged the participants in water safety education programs and assisted in teaching the children how to cast. Raffle prizes were drawn every half hour, and each child that caught a fish had their photo taken to show their friends and family at home. The child who caught the biggest fish all day won a fishing rod and reel. No child left empty handed thanks to the FWC and the Corps who provided 'goodie bags' with water safety and fish and wildlife education materials.

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