Looking for a way to spend more time with a child or grandchild this summer? Introduce them to fishing. 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.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division encourages adults, especially those with little or no angling experience, to introduce a child to fishing at one of the many statewide kids fishing events scheduled this spring and summer. `Kids fishing events are popular community activities that introduce youth and their families to the joys of fishing, and promote a better understanding of the natural environment,` says John Biagi, Wildlife Resources Division chief of Fisheries Management. `These events provide an opportunity for youth to fish, often for the first time, with assistance from experienced volunteers and in places where they will probably catch a fish.`

Kids fishing events are sponsored across the state and provide fishing lessons to both children (under age 16) and parents from knowledgeable instructors. The Wildlife Resources Division co-sponsors most events by providing channel catfish and trout to improve fishing, educational materials for participants and guidance for sponsors.

`Lessons about life and the importance of nature are often learned and passed between generations while fishing. Fishing provides that rare time when you and your child can relax and talk,` says Biagi. `Children who are introduced to fishing today are more likely to continue fishing as adults. In fact, 85 percent of today’s freshwater anglers began fishing before they turned 13. In contrast, only eight percent took up fishing as adults – so take them fishing today!`

How do you find more information or local events? Visit www.gofishgeorgia.com , select “Fishing,” then “Kids Fishing.” Here you will find tips on fishing with kids, recommended places to take kids, a “kids first fish certificate,” and a link to a calendar where you can find local events.

For more information on fishing in Georgia, visit www.gofishgeorgia.com