Pond Owner Mentoring Kids Program Provides Needed Fishing Opportunities in Alabama

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On Friday March 23, 2012, the Boys and Girls Club of Pike County will take part in a Pond Owner Mentoring Kids Program fishing event at Camp Butter and Egg, an outdoor adventure facility owned by Susan and Ron Pierce located in Troy, Ala. The Pond Owner Mentoring Kids Program is a partnership between various pond owners across the state and the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) that provides children and families access to fishing opportunities they may not otherwise have. 
The event will begin with a casting and fishing clinic taught by WFF staff. Fishing rods and bait will be provided by the WFF. Local media is invited to attend. For additional information, contact WFF Biologist Aide and program coordinator Brenda Morrison at 205-477-6301. The pond is located at 2127 Butter and Egg Road, Troy, Ala. 36081. 
A primary goal of the mentoring program is to initiate a relationship between a pond owner and individual families in the community. The pond owner passes along a heritage of natural resources stewardship, and the kids and their families learn to fish. A study conducted by Responsive Management, a natural resources survey company, found that relaxation, which benefits mental health, is a primary motivation for going fishing.
How does the Pond Owner Mentoring Kids Program work? According to Morrison, once a local pond owner commits to the program, local school systems and civic organizations are contacted to gauge their interest. Schools and civic organizations provide the initial student supervision and transportation to and from the pond. During the event WFF staff provide any fishing instruction that might be needed.
“You can’t learn everything from reading a book. Hands-on experience can be just as valuable, but even more valuable can be the experience learned from a mentor,” Morrison said. “Many families need a place to fish, and volunteers such as those at Camp Butter and Egg in Troy help to fill that void.”
Camp Butter and Egg is a privately-owned day camp in Troy, Ala., offering a variety of recreational venues for private group events, family and school gatherings, and sporting events. Attractions include zip lines, climbing structures, a fish pond, challenge courses and other outdoor activities. 
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .