ALEXANDRIA, VA (March 26, 2008) – The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) today announced a new partnership with the California Department of Fish & Game that will encourage experienced anglers to take novice anglers fishing. The 2008 California Fishing Passport Legacy Challenge, a year-long campaign to support both the California Fishing Passport Program and the Anglers’ Legacy program, will highlight six different fishing events held throughout the state of California.
Teams of one mentor and one newcomer will compete in the “Passport Legacy Challenge” to catch as many different fish species as possible. Top finishers will win fishing trips, rods, reels and other donated materials from program sponsors Berkley, Bass Pro Shops, Plano, and others. The first 50 registered newcomers at each event will win a fishing starter “kit” complete with a tackle box, gift certificate, line and bait.
“The Legacy Challenge marks a milestone for the Anglers’ Legacy program as experienced anglers will compete in a state fishing challenge to not only share their love of the sport, but help to preserve the heritage for future generations,” said RBFF President & CEO Frank Peterson. “This fits right into our message of protecting the legacies of boating and fishing. It also helps us increase participation in both activities since research tells us that fishing is a strong pathway to boating.”
Teams will also be encouraged to fish on their own throughout the year for additional awards to be presented at a ceremony in early 2009. Fishing will be open to all fishable waters within Calif. including oceans, bays, streams, rivers, lakes, reservoirs and the Delta System. All of their accomplishments throughout the year will be recorded through the Department’s Web site via their TripTracks Fishing Logbook.
"Introducing newcomers to the enjoyment of fishing often comes best from the teaching and mentoring of more experienced friends and family members," said Carrie Wilson, Marine Biologist and California Fishing Passport Program Coordinator. "Most of us can still fondly remember the person who first introduced us to the outdoors and to fishing. Through our new Passport Legacy Challenge, we hope to introduce new people to the sport by encouraging seasoned anglers to share their fishing knowledge and expertise."
Anglers’ Legacy, which was launched in May 2006, encourages avid anglers to share their passion for fishing and to visit AnglersLegacy.org, where they're asked to "Take the Pledge" – promising to take at least one new person fishing each year. To date, the program has collected more than 30,000 Pledges, which according to an RBFF survey of participants conducted in 2007, means it may have already generated $3.6 million for the fishing industry, $4.9 million for the boating industry and the sale of nearly 63,000 new fishing licenses.
Sign up online to register for the Challenge or to get more information about local events.
About the California Department of Fish & Game
The Department of Fish and Game maintains native fish, wildlife, plant species and natural communities for their intrinsic and ecological value and their benefits to people. This includes habitat protection and maintenance in a sufficient amount and quality to ensure the survival of all species and natural communities. The department is also responsible for the diversified use of fish and wildlife including recreational, commercial, scientific and educational uses.
RBFF is a nonprofit organization established in 1998 to increase participation in recreational angling and boating. RBFF helps people discover, share and protect the legacy of boating and fishing through national outreach programs including the Take Me Fishing campaign and Anglers’ Legacy.