The sixth annual National Fishing and Boating Week, America’s biggest week for on-water events, runs June 3 through 11. This year, more than 1,500 events are expected including fishing derbies, regattas, educational events, boating demonstrations, festivals and many other hands-on activities that will allow Americans to experience the fun of boating and fishing.
Serving as honorary chairperson of this year’s National Fishing and Boating Week, actress and accomplished angler Jane Seymour, star of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, is sharing her love of the water. “I am very excited to help RBFF because I really believe that fishing is an excellent way for families to spend time together. I know it’s had a positive effect on my family and I would not trade anything for the time I spend with my husband and children fishing and boating,” said Seymour. “I’m looking forward to sharing our experiences and encouraging others to take their families and friends out on the water.”
Seymour’s interest in fishing began with her marriage to director/producer James Keach. An avid angler, Keach encouraged Seymour to learn to fish so they could enjoy fishing together. Since that time, fishing has been a favorite activity for Seymour, Keach and their five children. The family has fished all over the world and always looks forward to the next time they can be on the water together.
“National Fishing and Boating Week is a great time for families to get together and plan a day on the water,” said Bruce Matthews, president of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. “The week was designed not only for kids of all ages, but for parents and grandparents as well. Many of the events offer firsthand instruction on topics from knot-tying and boating safety to casting and properly releasing a catch.”
For a listing of events taking place during National Fishing and Boating Week and throughout the year, visit takemefishing.org. Visitors to the website can find information on events close to their homes or vacation destinations. They can also find dates of state-sponsored free-fishing days, when no fishing license is required. Most states sponsor these days during National Fishing and Boating Week.
National Fishing and Boating Week has grown each year. Last year, more than 1,300 fishing and boating events were held. This year, with retailers, manufacturers and state agencies hosting events from coast to coast, the annual celebration is expected to include more community events and draw more participants than ever before, offering families more opportunities to experience activities that are growing in popularity. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, 2004 saw a 2 percent increase in the sale of fishing licenses.
Fishing and boating are not only fun, participation funds the resource. On average, 83 percent of state funding for managing and conserving aquatic resources comes from the sale of fishing licenses and special excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.
About the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF)
The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (http://www.rbff.org/) is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating, thereby increasing public awareness and appreciation of the need for protecting, conserving and restoring America’s aquatic natural resources. Recreational boating and fishing are America’s favorite sporting activities, with more than 50 million people participating every year — that’s more than play golf and tennis combined.Dave Landahl