ALEXANDRIA, VA (May 26, 2009) - There are tens of thousands of places to fish and boat in the U.S. - and for the 30th Anniversary of National Fishing & Boating Week (June 6-14), the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) is launching an online movement that encourages kids and their families to find one. And for those who might not know a bass from a trout to even the most skilled anglers, RBFF has the ultimate online fishing and boating resource, www.TakeMeFishing.org, where site visitors can learn everything they need to know to plan a day on the water. Visitors may also be eligible to win daily prizes and a boat when they play the new interactive game, "Catch A Boat."
Since its 2005 reauthorization, RBFF has played a critical role in introducing more than 500,000 youth and newcomers to fishing and boating while raising more than $6 million for state conservation efforts. Beginning with National Fishing & Boating Week, RBFF is hoping to see families across the country get involved.
"I can give any parent three good reasons to take their kids fishing and boating this summer," said RBFF President and CEO Frank Peterson. "First, new research shows fishing is the number one gateway activity to get children interested in other outdoor activities. Second, it's affordable and local at a time when many families are considering skipping their summer vacations all together. And third, when you purchase a fishing license, equipment or supplies, that money goes back to conservation projects that keep our nation's waterways clean and fish populations healthy."
To further encourage fishing and boating in 2009, RBFF has designed an interactive online game that letswww.TakeMeFishing.org visitors virtually "fish" for a chance to win a boat. Participants may be eligible to win daily prizes from one of RBFF's sponsors - Dick's Sporting Goods, Humminbird, Plano, Rapala, Simms, West Marine and Zebco - or the grand prize of a Triumph boat with an Evinrude motor and EZ Loader trailer. The "Catch A Boat" contest will go live at noon CT on June 4, 2009 and run for seven weeks through fishing and boating season. For Official Rules and eligibility information, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.
"Catch A Boat" will be the latest in RBFF's online successes. Since re-launching www.TakeMeFishing.org in April 2008, the site has received 2.4 million unique visitors - up 129 percent from 2008 and 243 percent from 2007. RBFF has also recruited more than 6,500 anglers and boaters to join its social network, www.Fishington.com, which was launched just seven months ago.
National Fishing & Boating Week began as National Fishing Week in 1979 when industry and conservation leaders, state natural resource agencies and anglers organized a unified effort to introduce more young people to the sport and outdoor conservation. In 2001, responsibility for the week was handed off to RBFF.
For a listing of more than 12,000 places to fish and boat, local events taking place during National Fishing and Boating Week, and information about free-fishing days, visit www.TakeMeFishing.org.