SOCIAL CIRCLE – It’s easy to name at least three good reasons why you need to go fishing.

♦ Connection – Fishing and boating offer a great way to connect with family.

♦ Stress Relief – Fishing is considered one of the top three ways to relieve stress.

♦ Conservation — The funds from your fishing license help conserve Georgia lakes, rivers and waterways.

Want one more? There is no better time to get outdoors than during National Fishing and Boating Week, June 1-9, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division.

“There are no bad days spent boating and fishing,” Matt Thomas, chief of DNR’s Fisheries Management section. “Teaching a child to fish, or taking an outing to a nearby waterway, can help build a conservation ethic, while also introducing an exciting activity you both can enjoy for life.”

National Fishing and Boating Week began in 1979 and was created to recognize the tradition of fishing, to broaden the spirit of togetherness and to share the values and knowledge of today’s anglers with tomorrow’s anglers.

Here’s how to celebrate:

FREE FISHING DAYS: In the spirit of introducing new family members or friends to the sport of angling, Georgia offers two free fishing days during this special week: June 1 and June 8. On these days, Georgia residents do not need a fishing license, trout license or Lands Pass (WMAs/PFAs) to fish.

FREE KIDS FISHING EVENTS: In addition to the two free fishing days, there are lots of free kids fishing events scheduled across the state to help introduce children to fishing. These events offer a healthy form of entertainment for kids and provide an excellent opportunity for beginning anglers to learn from experienced volunteers. Many events offer prizes, free lunches and other fun-filled activities. Find events at georgiawildlife.com/featured-events-calendar.

Here’s where to celebrate:

There are so many great places to fish in Georgia, from trout streams in North Georgia, to large reservoirs, to lazy rivers in the southern part of the state. You can always start at one of the 10 Public Fishing Areas (georgiawildlife.com/allpfas) or at one of many Georgia State Parks (gastateparks.org/) that offer exciting fishing opportunities for family and friends.

According to the National Fishing and Boating Week website, one of the main reasons people don’t go fishing or boating is because no one has invited them. So anglers should make it a mission during National Fishing and Boating Week, or the next time you go fishing, to take someone new: a child, a relative or a friend.

For more information on National Fishing and Boating Week and all it has to offer, including the free fishing days, nearest kids fishing event or places to fish, visitgeorgiawildlife.com/nfbw .

One of the best ways to celebrate National fishing and Boating Week is to teach a kid to fish.

They want your time. So anglers can take some time to make a lifetime memory for themselves and their children. Research shows that most people are introduced to fishing by a family member, and most consider a family member to be their best fishing friend.

Don’t know how to fish? No problem. Visit one of the many upcoming scheduled kids fishing events this spring and summer.

Kids fishing events typically take place at a location with a high successful catch rate, and many events have on-site volunteers to provide assistance for those new to fishing, according to officials with the Wildlife Resources Division.

“Spending time taking a child fishing is something that you both will cherish for years to come,” Thomas said. “Kids fishing events offer a great place to start. They are geared toward helping you and your child get a feel for fishing before you try to ‘tackle’ it on your own.”

Kids fishing events are sponsored across the state and provide fishing assistance to both children (under age 16) and parents from knowledgeable instructors.

The Wildlife Resources Division co-sponsors many events by providing channel catfish or trout to improve fishing, educational materials for participants and guidance for sponsors.

Visit georgiawildlife.com/KidsFishing for more information. Here you will find tips on fishing with kids, recommended places to go fish with children, a “kid’s first fish certificate,” and a link to our events system where you can search for local events.

For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit georgiawildlife.com/fishing/angler-resources.

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