Punda Gorda Middle School fishing club


Program Funds 50 Florida Schools To Support Outdoor Education

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s School Fishing Club program funding recipients have been selected for the 2023-2024 school year. After undergoing a comprehensive review, 50 schools were awarded the Florida R3 Fishing Grant.

The Florida R3 Fishing Grant is funded by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, Coastal Conservation Association, and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. Each school receives a $500 grant to assist with club expenses, such as purchasing fishing licenses or gear for participants.

“The School Fishing Club program enables students to discuss important conservation topics, have meaningful connections with nature, and hopefully inspire lifelong fishing and stewardship,” said Daniel Paker, director of FYCCN. “This is our opportunity, our responsibility, to engage youth in outdoor activities and create the next generation that cares.”

School fishing clubs are required to conduct at least one conservation project by the end of the school year, from a list of aquatic conservation activities.

The recommended conservation projects are:

  • Organize and host a community aquatic clean-up day or participate in a local waterway or beach clean-up
  • Build a Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program bin and maintain it
  • Organize and host a Kids’ Fishing Clinic

Along with the conservation project, each participating club is provided curriculum with lessons and activities on Florida’s aquatic habitats, basic fishing gear, best fishing practices, and fish handling applicable to both freshwater and saltwater fishing. Through this program, the FWC is educating and engaging the next generation of anglers in conservation and ensuring Florida remains the fishing capital of the world.

The FWC received a record 74 applicants this year, emphasizing the growing interest of the grant program. This program would not be possible without generous fishing industry partners, such as the Coastal Conservation Association Florida, Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Hobie Eyewear, Fish Florida, Flambeau Outdoors, and Pure Fishing.

The FWC thanked these partners who support the School Fishing Club program:

Information about the 2024-2025 School Fishing Club program will be announced in the summer of 2024. For more information about the School Fishing Club program, visit MyFWC.com/SFC.