Take Kids Fishing Day Brings Joy to Wisconsin Youths

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Wisconsin youths learned about the importance of fishing and conservation at the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance’s (USA) Take Kids Fishing Day June 1-2.

Vilas Park in Madison, Chad Erickson Memorial Park in La Crosse and Riverside Park in Beloit all welcomed participants. 

The community engagement and helping kids of all ages are what Beloit project leader Nate Tell took away from the event. 

Youths show off their catch at Riverside Park in Beloit, WI. Take Kids Fishing Day aims to teach fishing and outdoor skills to the next generation.

“It means a lot to give kids the experience of fishing, especially those who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity or the equipment to do so,” Tell said. “To partner with the Union Sportsmen’s Alliance to be part of that—to give the kids equipment, show them how to put a worm on a hook and to cast and catch fish, and to see the look on their face when they pull out a fish—is an experience you just can’t put into words.”

Union volunteers representing a variety of trades were on hand to provide kids and their parents with instruction and assistance, and all registered youths received a free fishing rod and reel. These events are part of a series of free, community-based youth outreach events organized under USA’s flagship conservation program, Work Boots on the Ground.

“We’ve been doing it for eight or nine years and it’s a lot of fun,” Madison project leader David Branson said. “It’s fun to see the kids come, and they all have a smile on their face and so do their parents. And then we get them all checked in, get them out there and get the volunteers to help them with the fishing. When they catch a fish, they’re really, really happy because a lot of them haven’t been fishing before.”

Branson was happy with the turnout in Madison despite the rain.

A family enjoys time together fishing at Vilas Park in Madison.

“We still had 80 kids that came in with their parents and they still got out there and fished,” he said. “They got wet, but they enjoyed themselves. I think it’s great. We’re trying to make a difference in the community and get our name out there and show people in the community that unions are a good thing.”

Tell explained why kids should get outside and develop skills like fishing. 

“I think it’s really important because these days, with the way that technology is and has come along since the Atari, you don’t have to really leave the house to get entertainment,” he said. “To give them this event to show them that there’s another avenue besides being on your phone or on your game system or computer, it’s big to come out, enjoy the sunshine, be near a body of water and cast a line.”

Union Sportsmen’s Alliance (USA): The USA is a union-dedicated, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose members hunt, fish, shoot and volunteer their skills for conservation. The USA is uniting the union community through conservation to preserve North America’s outdoor heritage. For more information, visit www.unionsportsmen.org or connect on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Work Boots on the Ground (WBG): WBG is the USA’s flagship conservation program that brings together union members willing to volunteer their time and expertise to conservation projects that improve and enhance public access to the outdoors, conserve wildlife habitat, restore America’s parks and mentor youth in the outdoors. The USA’s Work Boots on the Ground program works closely with federal, state and local agencies and other conservation groups to provide manpower needed to complete critical projects that may otherwise go undone.



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