High School Fishing Program
What We Do!
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) developed the High School Fishing Program for students who are interested in learning how to become effective, conservation minded anglers. The goal is to teach students about ethical angling, conservation, Florida's aquatic and marine habitats, basic fishing gear, and general fishing concepts to help create confident and responsible anglers. FWC works with each school, providing them with the curriculum, knowledge, and funding opportunities to run a successful fishing club. Each school will learn the curriculum, plan fishing activities, and conduct a conservation project by the end of the year. Let's Go Fishing!
How to Get Started
Contact us at R3Fishing@MyFWC.com or 850-617-6012 to let us know you are interested in participating. The best time to get involved is early in the school year. Your school will need a program sponsor such as a teacher, coach or parent who will oversee the High School Fishing Program, usually as an extracurricular club or a team. The sponsor is responsible for setting up club meetings and fishing opportunities, submitting student documents to the FWC, teaching the core curriculum, helping the club work on their conservation project, and submitting the Florida's R3 Grant Application. Grant funding is not required to participate in the program.
Reach out to us! the FWC has many resources available to help you make your High School Fishing Program a great success.
- Grant Applications – January 15th, 2021
- Registration & Pre-Surveys – January 29th, 2021
- Conservation Projects – April 23rd, 2021
- Post-Surveys – May 7th, 2021
Need Equipment? Check Out These Grant Opportunities!
The Florida’s R3 Fishing Grant Program is supported with funds from the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program, the FWC Division of Marine Fisheries Management, and the FWC Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management for the implementation of high school fishing programs throughout the state of Florida.
The deadline for receiving applications is 5:00 p.m., January 15th, 2021. Applications received after the deadline will be ineligible for consideration. Deadline might be affected by COVID-19, updates coming soon.
If your fishing club is interested in obtaining rods and reels, the Fish Florida Fishing Equipment Program can help you get started.
Fish Florida is a non-profit organization that provides support to groups teaching people, especially children, about Florida fish, aquatic habitats and resource stewardship. The education is accomplished with displays, classes, seminars, presentations, clinics and other means designed to teach and promote responsible angling.
- Junk Raft
- FWC Saltwater Fishing YouTube Channel
- Saltwater Fish How-To Playlist
- Saltwater Fishing Training Series
- Lionfish Playlist
- Artificial Reefs Playlist
- Descending Devices Playlist
- Events Playlist
- Workshops Playlist
- Q&A Video
- 30-Second Fishing Video
- Angler Recognition Playlist
- Other Marine Fisheries Videos Playlist
By participating in the High School Fishing Program, FWC provides school fishing clubs with the core curriculum, grant funding, and educational publications such as fishing lines, current fresh and saltwater rules and regulations, and our fishing clinic manual.
Core Curriculum Lessons
Fisheries Conservation Lessons
- Lesson 1: Sport Fish Restoration
- Lesson 2: Ethical Angling
- Lesson 3: Fish Handling and Release
- Lesson 4: Fishing Regulations
- Lesson 5: Monofilament Recycling
Fish Habitat Lessons
- Lesson 6: Florida’s Fisheries Habitats
- Lesson 7: Tides, Currents and Habitats
Fishing Equipment Lessons
- Lesson 8: Knot Tying
- Lesson 9: Bait and Tackle
- Lesson 10: Fishing Gear and Maintenance
- Cast Netting
- Filleting a Fish
- Hooked a Pelican?
- Fish Morphology and Dissection
- Fishing Line Visibility
- Make Your Own Lure
- Different Fishing Techniques
To participate in the FWC High School Fishing Program, your club is required to complete at least one conservation project activity each school year. The FWC has partnered with Pure Fishing to support our campaign by focusing the required conservation project activity on reducing single-use plastics. This format awards points per club participation in a pre-determined list of activities. The clubs will be competing in a three-tier prizing structure with a Grand Prize, Second Place Prize and Third Place Prize. The club with the highest number of activity points by April 23rd, 2021 will receive the Grand Prize, with the runner-ups receiving the Second and Third Place Prizes, awarded by Pure Fishing, Berkeley, and Abu Garcia.
- Lead the creation of a school-wide recycling program, if not already in place: 100 points
- Lead a school-wide campaign to reduce single-use plastic products (such as straws): 100 points
- The club will receive points for meeting with their school administration to present their ideas and explore options for reducing single-use plastics. The school administration will sign a form (available by request from the FWC) indicating that the meeting was held. Points will be awarded on effort and not on implementation of the campaign.
- Club creates and completes their own conservation project related to reducing single-use plastics. 90 points
- Organize and host a Kids’ Fishing Clinic (FWC can provide a protocol and guidance): 90 points per event
- Organize and host a Waterway/Beach Clean-up: 80 points per clean-up
- Encourage school sports teams to commit to using reusable bottles instead of single-use plastic sports drinks or water bottles. Have the teams sign an “anti-single-use plastic agreement” and send the FWC photos of them using their reusable bottles: 70 points
- Volunteering to maintain a local Monofilament Recovery and Recycling (MRRP) bin – 60 points per bin
- (This activity would be at least once a week for the year. Visit http://mrrp.myfwc.com/ for more info.)
- Conduct a school screening of the movie Junk Raft; https://www.junkraft.org/videos: 40 points for hosting
- Participate in Waterway/Beach Clean-ups: 5 points per school participant (can include non-anglers and parents/chaperones)
- Ideas: CCA Trash Tour Stops, International Coastal Cleanup events, and/or local county clean-up events.
- Sign the FWC and ASA’s Pitch It Pledge and/or “share your story” (https://www.pledgetopitchit.org/): 15 points
- Taking a personal pledge to reduce use of single-use plastics and encouraging friends to take the pledge, as well: 10 points
- Promote clean-ups within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, Florida state parks, refuge areas, and other county, state, and federal areas: 5 points per promotion (send proof of promotion with this form)
- Promoting your fishing club and its events on social media: 5 points per monthly promotion(s) (send proof of promotion, such as a screenshot of the social media post, with this form)
- Building personal Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program bins and providing them to school fishing club members – 5 points per bin per student
- Building personal Monofilament Recovery and Recycling Program bins and providing them to local fishing clubs – 5 points per distributed bin
Your club is encouraged to seek sponsors. A great place to start is local bait and tackle shops and other local businesses, such as restaurants and sporting goods stores. Request to speak with a manager or business owner to discuss financial or product-based sponsorship opportunities. Sponsors are a great resource in helping your club expand, as they can help provide various resources such as funding, bait for fishing trips, additional equipment, or venues to host events.
- Student Angler Federation (SAF) provides assistance in helping coordinate potential partnerships. Learn more at highschoolfishing.org.
- Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) can assist your club in providing insurance for club participants. FLW can also help your club set-up individual events and tournaments. Learn more at flwfishing.com or (270) 252-1000.
- iAngler Tournament can assist you by logging all your club activities and setting up unique club touraments to help your club’s progression throughout the program. Learn more at ianglertournament.com.
Seek out local guides, the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) chapter members, the Future Fisherman Foundation, and West Marine staff for advice on fishing in your location. Guides and experienced anglers are an invaluable source of information! Ask them where to fish (and why that location is a hot spot), and for advice on effective bait and tackle, as well as types of successful fishing techniques for your area. If you are searching for volunteers, reach out to local fishing clubs and youth organizations to request assistance.
- Coastal Conservation Association of Florida: CCAFlorida.org; firstname.lastname@example.org; (407) 854-7002
- West Marine: Once contacted, West Marine will provide you with a direct contact to a High School Fishing program representative from a store near you. West Marine staff presence at your events can also be requested through your local program representative.westmarine.com; wmCustomerService@westmarine.com; (800) 262-8464
Angler Recognition Programs
TrophyCatch transforms and activates the angling community into becoming “Champions of Conservation” by having anglers photo-document and submit pictures of their largemouth bass catches that weigh eight pounds or heavier to TrophyCatch. This catch-and-release program rewards anglers for their catches by placing them into a prizing category based on the weight of the fish.
The benefits of participating in TrophyCatch include collecting valid citizen-science information about trophy bass to help the FWC better enhance, conserve and promote trophy bass fishing.
Catch a Florida Memory (CAFM) includes three saltwater angler recognition programs that allow participants to earn prizes, recognition and bragging rights all while supporting marine fisheries conservation. Benefits of participating include encouraging anglers to target a diversity of species which helps reduce fishing pressure on the most sought-after catches, expanding fishing experiences for seasoned anglers, cultivating an interest in saltwater fishing for those new to the sport, and strengthening marine fisheries conservation ethics.
Frequently Asked Questions
No, only schools may apply for this grant.
The grant is for $500 per school club/team to purchase fishing supplies.
Absolutely, each fishing club/team may apply for the Florida's R3 Fishing Grant and participate in the program in consecutive years.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission does not provide insurance to participating schools. Clubs/teams should follow their school’s policies and procedures. Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) can provide insurance through their membership program. Visit https://www.flwfishing.com/ and click on “Members” to learn more.