Outdoor education program's success is no "big fish" story

Macomb County's yearly 4-H Take Me Fishing program for youth was a "reel" success in June 2009.

Macomb County’s yearly 4-H Take Me Fishing program for youth was a “reel” success in June 2009.

Located along the banks of the Clinton River in Ray Township, the Take Me Fishing event is part of a metro park system that offers two ponds for children and parents in which to fish. The program is run every year during free-fishing weekend but is also offered all summer to groups that call and book a date. The turnout was good for 2009, with 88 participants and 10 volunteers participating.

The staff members and volunteers operated seven stations that participants had to go through before they could fish. Wearing around their necks a paper fish riddled with punch marks received for completing each station, kids made their way through stations for water quality, boat safety, knots, fish identification, lure making, learning-to-cast, parts of a fishing pole and, finally, fishing.

At the lure-making station, kids made a lure to use for the day and one to take home. Poles were provided or participants could have brought their own. Bait was also provided.

During the Take Me Fishing program, many items were given away to participants, including Sterns life jackets, t-shirts from the Clinton River Watershed Council, lures, tackle box kits and suckers (the candy, not the fish!).

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