FWC announces winner of the School Fishing Club Conservation Project Competition

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

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May 23, 2024

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J.W. Mitchell High School fishing team

FWC announces winner of the School Fishing Club Conservation Project Competition

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) School Fishing Club Program congratulates the J.W. Mitchell High School fishing team as the Grand Prize winner of the FWC’s School Fishing Conservation Project Competition. The students completed various conservation projects including cleaning up their local waterways and working to restore vital aquatic habitat.

All student anglers participating in the FWC’s 2023-24 School Fishing Club Program were required to plan at least one conservation project to qualify for funding associated with the program. Prizes from our partners were offered for the conservation project winners as incentives for student anglers to complete multiple conservation initiatives throughout the year. The FWC’s Conservation Project Competition awarded points per club participation in a variety of conservation-minded activities aimed at reducing the impacts of plastic pollution.

“Programs like the School Fishing Club are integral to introducing Florida’s youth to the great sport of fishing and inspiring stewardship of our marine resources,” said Jessica McCawley, Director of Marine Fisheries Management. “These students are the next generation of anglers, and we are pleased to continue supporting their passion and maintaining our state as the Fishing Capital of the World.”

J.W. Mitchell High School won the Grand Prize, a set of sunglasses provided by Hobie Eyewear and a private in-person custom rod building class with Mud Hole Custom Tackle. East Bay K-3 won the Second Place Prize and Punta Gorda Middle School won the Third Place Prize. The prizes for the 2023-24 competition were provided by Hobie Eyewear, Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Fish Florida, Flambeau Outdoors and Pure Fishing.

“Supporting youth participation in angling and increasing our sustainability initiatives have been high priorities for Hobie Eyewear. Over the past few years, we’ve made conscious efforts to reduce single-use plastic in our packaging and have continued researching and testing ways to utilize recycled materials in select product offerings and utilize eco-friendly manufacturing and freight methods. We’ve also participated in and supported several cleanups of our waterways. This past year we joined Bassmaster Elite Series Angler, Carl Jocumsen for the first ever Fear My Heart Lake Cleanup on the Tennessee River and proudly donated sunglasses from our Floating Collection to all the participants,” said Dylan Coates, Marketing Manager of Hobie Eyewear. 

FWC’s School Fishing Club Program welcomed 23 new and 15 returning student angling clubs in Florida to the program in 2023, supported by the Division of Marine Fisheries Management, the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management and the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network. The clubs committed to complete the provided FWC curriculum, and at least one conservation project. Club mentors provided support and hands-on training in knot-tying and fishing gear assembly, as well as assistance with the clubs’ local events to increase student anglers’ confidence in the sport of fishing.

For more information about the School Fishing Club Program, visit MyFWC.com/SFC.

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