IGFA Expands Virtual Learning

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the IGFA continues to adapt its angler education programs to ensure that new anglers can still learn the basics of recreational fishing and the importance of game fish conservation.

To offset the limited opportunities of hosting in-person youth angling education events, the IGFA recently launched a new virtual program called Fishing Florida: Virtual Field Trips - a series of fishing experiences showcasing different fishing techniques, tackle, fish, habitats, ethical angling practices and environmental stewardship concepts.

IGFA staff educate about fishing regulations - safe handling practices - and catch-and-release concepts as well as about ethical angling and stewardship concepts.

More than just a video, each field trip experience is an entire curriculum package released every month to reach anglers of all ages and experience levels. These field trips are designed to not only educate the next generation of ethical anglers, but to inspire them to get outside and recreate responsibly in a safe and enjoyable manner.

Since the program’s launch in September 2020, the IGFA has developed five new field trip experiences in both freshwater and saltwater habitats using Florida’s plethora of angling opportunities. To date, nearly 200 anglers from six different countries and 20 US states have tuned into watch this free educational resource.

Additionally, several educational institutions in the United States have recently participated in these virtual fishing field trip experiences to offer their students, many who are still undergoing virtual learning themselves. Students range from elementary school to college in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New York, and Tennessee.

Mr. Jolliff, the Outdoor Pursuits Educator from Wentzville Liberty High School in Missouri, had this to say about the new program,

“I was just searching the internet for virtual fishing field trips that are education based and found yours! It fits my curriculum perfect. The class I teach has high school students that have never fished before to students that have fished a lot.”

Jolliff is planning to take his students on a fishing field trip in April, so they have plenty of time to learn and gain new skills to make it a successful trip. The IGFA looks forward to hearing about their experience.

The IGFA has recently issued a “call for content” to all IGFA Representatives around the world inviting them to create their own virtual field trips, with the goal of expanding this program to an international level in the coming months. Stay tuned for more to come with this exciting new project!