Free family fishing clinics offered throughout the summer

Want to get outside with the kids this summer and have some fun? There is nothing better than seeing the smile on a child's face when they catch a fish!

What? You say you don't know the first thing about fishing? Then the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's free family fishing clinics are just for you!

As part of the ODWC's Aquatic Resource Education Program, metro area families can learn to fish for free this summer.  The clinics are every week through June and July in Jenks.

"The clinics are a great, free way to get a youngster interested in and educated in the sport of fishing," said Micah Holmes, information supervisor for the Wildlife Department.

The clinics are 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at the Jenks Casting Pond.  It's a great way to learn your sinkers from bobbers.

The Aquatic Resources Education Program (AREP) is the department's means to promote the sport of fishing and aquatic resource awareness as well as a way to give youth, regardless of family situation, an opportunity to learn how to fish and to gain an understanding of Oklahoma's aquatic environments. Through the program, kids and adults can take just a few hours to attend a fishing clinic and come out with a knowledge of such topics as fish identification, knot-tying, fish cleaning and cooking, fishing tackle selection, equipment use, water safety, outdoor ethics and more. Most clinics, including those held at the Wildlife Department's Zebco Casting Pond in Jenks, include hands-on fishing opportunities at stocked ponds.

"We'll teach you everything you need to know to get off to the right start so you can start fishing all over Oklahoma," Holmes said. "Plus, you'll even get to go fishing during the clinics. All equipment and assistance is provided, and no fishing license is required for the clinics."

A full listing of dates are available on the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation's website . Pre-registration to attend the  AREP class is required and can be done by calling the contact number listed with each clinic.

Developed in 1988, the program's objectives are to increase the understanding, appreciation, and awareness of Oklahoma's aquatic resources; facilitate the learning of angling skills, outdoor ethics, and sport fishing opportunities in the state; enhance urban fishing opportunities; develop adult fishing clinics and provide information on specialized fishing techniques.

For more information about the Aquatic Resources Education Program, log on to .

This program operates free from discrimination on the basis of political or religious opinion or affiliation, race, creed, color, gender, age, ancestry, marital status or disability. A person who feels he or she may have been discriminated against or would like further information should write: Director, Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, P.O. Box 53465, Oklahoma City, OK 73152, or Office of Equal Opportunity, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.

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