Press Releases

Pilot Take Me Fishing First Catch Centers to Cultivate the Next Generation of Anglers
On-the-water experience hubs will bring fishing and boating experiences to urban audiences

ALEXANDRIA, VA (October 31, 2017) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation today announced the launch of pilot locations for its Take Me Fishing™ First Catch Centers in Pennsylvania and Texas. These First Catch Centers will bring fishing and boating experiences and learning opportunities to urban areas, fostering the next generation of anglers and boaters.

“Baseball, football and golf all have iconic youth development programs,” said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. “Fishing has relied mostly on parents and grandparents to pass along the fishing tradition, but as the country becomes more urbanized, we’re slowly losing this pipeline of participants. Our First Catch Centers are here to fill that void, and secure the future of fishing and boating participation.”

Starting this year, Take Me Fishing-endorsed programs in Texas and Pennsylvania that have met a set of criteria determined by RBFF will bring fishing and boating experiences to youth and families. RBFF will support these organizations with branding, promotion and marketing expertise to help extend their reach.

  • Fishing’s Future, (Texas)
    • 60+ pre-existing chapters across the country
    • Will open an additional 8 chapters in the Houston, Dallas, and New Jersey area, as well as work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge in Texas and local fish hatcheries.
  • Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission (PFBC) (greater Philadelphia)
    • Mobile First Catch Center will bring fishing and boating experiences to consumers
    • In 2018, a second mobile unit will be added to increase the program’s reach
    • PFBC will also be working with and hosting events at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Philadelphia.

With research showing that multiple touchpoints are needed to foster continued participation, each program will be evaluated on its ability to collect participant data and ensure repeat visits. Ultimately, this will create lifelong anglers and boaters, providing critical funding for conservation programs and boosting the economy for years to come.

As RBFF grows the Take Me Fishing First Catch Centers, increased support from the industry will be needed. If your organization is interested in sponsoring the First Catch Centers or providing equipment, please contact Rachel Piacenza (


About the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF)

RBFF is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby protecting and restoring the nation’s aquatic natural resources. RBFF developed the award-winning Take Me Fishing™ and Vamos A Pescar™ campaigns to create awareness around boating, fishing and conservation, and educate people about the benefits of participation. Take Me Fishing and Vamos A Pescar help boaters and anglers of all ages and experience levels learn, plan and equip for a day on the water. The campaign websites,, and, feature how-to videos, information on how to get a fishing license and boat registration, and an interactive state-by-state map that allows visitors to find local boating and fishing spots.

For further information: Stephanie Vatalaro,, 703-778-5156