IGFA Education Programs Recap and Update for 2024

The IGFA Education team started the new year off strong as they finalized their preparations for a very busy 2024. Here is an update on our signature programs and what to expect for 2024 regarding the IGFA’s efforts in youth angler education.

Passports to Fishing (P2F)

Coming off a strong year in 2023 with the program reaching its 38,000th angler and 44th country, and new requests have already started flowing in for individuals requesting to receive a 2024 Passports to Fishing kit. Program expansion continues not only with global distribution but also with accessibility as two new language translations are already in the works for 2024: European Portuguese and Dutch. The IGFA Headquarters will also work with our Regional Councils to help expand this program to various Fishing Clubs in their respective regions reaching more youth around the world. Thanks to the support of The Howe Foundation, a grant was received to help the IGFA continue program expansion internationally with the support of our network of supporters and nationally with the Boy Scouts of America and the Certified Angling Instructors.


Fishing Camps

The IGFA’s signature Fishing Summer Camp will take place at the IGFA Headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida, US. With the monumental sale of the building announced in October, it was undetermined at the time as to the location for the 2024 Summer Camp, but thanks to our friends at Bass Pro Shops, it was approved to host our camp at the IGFA Headquarters again in which we will bring new themes, new field trip locations, and new activities offering eight weeks of fishing opportunities to the youth in South Florida.



IGFA Spring and Summer Fishing Camps will return to the West Palm Beach, Florida, US, community thanks to a donation made by Nick Smith. The IGFA will work with the Cooperative Extension of Palm Beach County where 25-30 young anglers will be able to apply for a scholarship to attend these camps and learn all about recreational saltwater fishing.



The Reel Into Fishing camps in New Jersey, US, are continuing to expand and in 2024 the program while include two, three-day camps, rather than just one as was previously the case. This program is entering its tenth year thanks to the hard work and dedication of IGFA Representative Gene Nigro and the collaboration with Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Ocean County and the 4-H student development program. Because of the longstanding success of this program, a second program was established in 2023 for Burlington County students thanks to a donation from Viking Yachts. Participation is expected to grow with this program as plans are already underway to open registration earlier. Both programs allow students to participate in the Reel Into Fishing camp through a scholarship.



Building off the success of the inaugural Family Fishing Camp held in September 2023 at the IGFA Headquarters, the IGFA already has several Family Camps planned to take place in conjunction with Florida license fee-free fishing days in 2024. These fun, interactive events educate families about the basics of recreational fishing and encourage them to go fishing throughout the year as a family to create lasting memories and bonds with the great outdoors.


Lastly, the return of the Kids’ Fishing Camp in Abaco, Bahamas, will occur in the summer of 2024. The IGFA previously ran this camp from 2014 to 2017 with the help and guidance of IGFA’s past President Rob Kramer. The IGFA will work with the Friends of the Environment (FRIENDS) again to plan the return of the camp to the North Abaco community this summer.



National Park Service (NPS)

In October 2023 IGFA staff traveled to Cape Lookout National Seashore, North Carolina, US, where they assisted park rangers and a group from Ebony Anglers with a Legacy Camp, that brought in young anglers from the Raleigh/Durham area for a day on the water.



Later in the month, the team traveled to Great Smoky Mountains National Park on October 21, 2023, to facilitate a family Learn-to-Fish clinic at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.



These two events concluded the scope of work for 2023 in which a final report was submitted to the National Park Foundation at the end of October and an amendment to obtain further grant funding to continue expanding the program and recreational fishing training opportunities was already submitted and plans for 2024 have already commenced.

Other Education Programs

Passports to Fishing, Fishing Camps, and the National Parks Project are the IGFA’s signature education programs, but our efforts in 2024 will focus on expanding our reach internationally with online resources and the development of new programs aimed at educating anglers about fly fishing and game fish habitat conservation.

For our online resources, the Intro to Fishing course continues to have great success and the program recently had its 1,000th student complete the course, which was launched in 2019. The program continues to receive glowing reviews from participants, including this testimony from an educator in Bali, Indonesia. “I just finished the Intro to Fishing Course with one of my students, Amal. He is 6 years old and very excited about having this certificate. He really enjoyed the course. Thanks so much for providing it for everyone for free. What a wonderful contribution to society!”.


Based on the success of the "Intro to Fishing" course, the IGFA is working on launching a new virtual field trip series called, “Fishing the United States”, and a new online course focused on “Fly Fishing Basics”. These two resources are projected to launch in 2024.


Fly fishing education will also remain a focus of the IGFA’s Education efforts in 2024 to expand the in-person programs that IGFA Trustee Andy Mill spearheaded in the summer of 2022. We are excited to expand upon our partnership with the Jackson Hole Fly Fishing School in Wyoming, US, the Roaring Fork Valley Fly Fishing Club in Colorado, US, and The Mayfly Project in Florida, US. IGFA staff are working to expand to alternate locations to provide youth fly fishing programs during the summer months.  

Lastly, the IGFA will increase focus on our Healthy Habitats Initiative with “calls for cleanups” to our international network around major cleanup days like the CNN Call to Earth Day and the International Coastal Cleanup Day. The IGFA Plastic Portraits Project will also expand this year through a Debris Division within the Wildlife Forever’s Fish Art Contest. This new, unique award category for the Fish Art Contest encourages youth to clean up their local waterways and utilize the debris to create a portrait of a game fish.


250,000 Youth Education Initiative

The IGFA’s Education Department continues to grow with the planned expansion and addition of various programs to educate anglers on the basics of recreational fishing either through in-person or online education resources. All these programs are working toward the new goal of reaching 250,000 youth around the world by June 2026.

While we are already more than halfway to our goal with 177,967 youth reached to date, there is still a lot of work left to do! The IGFA greatly appreciates the continued support of our international network, our strategic youth education partners, and all program sponsors who are helping us toward the ultimate goal of building the next generation of ethical anglers. generations of ethical and conservation-minded anglers who are the future of our sport and of the IGFA.  

We cannot do this alone! If you would like to get involved in any of these programs, please contact IGFA Director of Education, Lisa Morse, at [email protected].