Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs

REMEMBER! Kids never remember a good day of watching TV, but they’ll always remember a Good Day of Fishing!

Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs in Maine – What’s it all about?

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has adopted the “Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs” program as one of its youth educational tools. This is an ideal program to promote youth and family togetherness through fishing within the State of Maine.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife sponsors workshops to train Volunteer Instructors, works with Sporting Clubs, Optomist Clubs and other organizations to coordinate Learn to Fish events throughout Maine and provides information, publications, fishing tackle and other resources to groups utilizing the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs program in Maine.

How does the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs program make a difference?

Family FishingCan the simple act of going fishing really be used to overcome a very serious issue that is affecting our young people today? Surprisingly, yes!

Some of the reasons youth begin using alcohol or other drugs include: boredom, lack of motivation, poor social and communication skills, low self-esteem and peer pressure. The “Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs” program uses fishing to address: positive alternatives to drug use, motivation, communication, self-esteem building, responsibility, positive role models, the ability to overcome peer pressure, good problem-solving and decision making skills, and improved family interaction.

Just because a youngster fishes does not guarantee that he or she will remain drug free. However, children who possess the above life skills and can communicate with their parents are less likely to turn to drugs.

Some interesting statistics of children that have been in the program:

  • 65% have never fished before
  • 70% of those that had never fished continued to fish
  • 80% became more aware of the environment

How can I become a Certified Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs Volunteer Instructor?

Workshops are scheduled periodically throughout the State. Each workshop is approximately 8 hours and will provide you with the information and materials necessary to initiate the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs program in your community. There is no cost to attend the workshop.

If you would like further information or if you would like to be contacted when a training workshop is scheduled please contact:

  • Emily Jones, Activities Coordinator
    Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife
    284 State St, SHS 41
    Augusta, ME 04333-0041
    (207) 287-8069
    or email emily.jones@maine.gov

How is the Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs program funded?

The 118th Legislature, enacted legislation that the “Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs” program be established in the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to encourage youth fishing activities in the State of Maine. The enactment of this law also authorized that the department may accept money, goods and services. Money, goods and services accepted by the department under this law may be used only for activities associated with youth education.

WALMART of Maine has became our first corporate sponsor and has challenged other Maine businesses to follow suit. FET, Inc. has also remained a large contributor of the program and holds an annual ice fishing tournament to raise funds for Hooked on Fishing-Not on Drugs as well as other youth education programs. The Department receives donations from memorial funds and other individuals as well.

If you would like to be added to our list of contributors, please make checks payable to: Treasurer, State of Maine. Please indicate for Youth Education. You may send your check to: Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 284 State Street, 41 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333.