Angler and aquatic education – Fishing Wisconsin DNR

Be a part of Wisconsin’s conservation tradition by becoming an Angler Education Instructor.

The angler education program is looking for people who enjoy working with children, like to fish or would like to learn by helping to teach others.

Instructors provide opportunities to learn basic fishing skills, explore Wisconsin’s aquatic resources and develop a set of conservation ethics to help ensure that Wisconsin’s lakes and streams will remain bountiful for generations to come.

The program provides training workshops to clubs, schools, youth development organizations and service groups. Trained instructors have access to educational resources and loaner fishing equipment.

Instructor certification

Instructor certification

An Instructor-In-Training practices casting skills and resourcefulness with a fish target and pop-can rig along Milwaukee’s lakefront.

Who are instructors?

Instructors are people like you. Youth leaders, classroom teachers, fishing club members and civic leaders are all encouraged to attend a workshop as a team or form one at the workshop. Successful program models include after-school fishing clubs, summer enrichment classes, family-school/camp adventures, scout merit badges and more.

While this program has traditionally focused on youth, keep in mind adults who may have missed the boat as kids.

Certification process

People get certified as Angler Education Instructors by attending a training workshop and completing a backgrond check using DNR Form 4100-217 [PDF].

Here are more specifics on the certification process.

Training workshops

Training workshops

Instructors-In-Training test non-lead sinkers at a Rhinelander workshop.

Please check back from time to time for updates to this schedule.

Angler education instructor certification workshop

Basic Angler Education instructor certification workshops focus on teaching spin casting and incorporating related topics in a K-12 curriculum,
youth development program or adult education. Some workshops feature fly fishing or complementary aquatic resources education programs while others are
linked to our adult Fishing for Dinner program.

Fishing club members, youth leaders, classroom teachers, community center staff and civic leaders are encouraged to attend as a team or form a team at the workshop.
Successful models include after-school fishing clubs, summer enrichment classes, school-family events and Boy Scout merit badge training.

Workshop fees

Angler Education workshops are free; sometimes we feed you lunch or dinner, too.
However, we do have a $15 workshop commitment deposit to ensure good attendance by registrants
and allow us to plan accordingly. If your plans change, please notify us in advance
to get a refund of your workshop commitment deposit. Otherwise, it becomes a donation to the Angler
Education Program.

Angler R3 Instructor Training & Certification Workshop Schedule

Many of these workshops will be a combination of Fishing for Dinner and Angler Education.

Date and Time Wednesday, January 8, 2020, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
County Dane
Community Madison
Place Lussier Family Heritage Center
LePine Room – Lower Level
Address: 3101 Lake Farm Road, Madison, WI 53711
Registration Deadline Download the registration form, [PDF],
complete and send to Andrew Krismer by January 6, 2020 – earlier is even better!
(see form for details).
ATTENTION! This is right after the holidays!
Don’t let this slide under the rubble of a construction-grade gingerbread house!
Sign up now and we’ll send you a joyous reminder!
Audience Adults who want to teach others how to fish.
Class Size This class is limited to 20 people. Reserve your seat and register now!
Host: The Lussier Family Heritage Center
Many thanks!
Contact: Theresa Stabo, (608) 577-6332 or
Andrew Krismer, (608) 333-2057.
Date and Time Thursday, March 19, 2020, 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
County Washburn
Community Spooner
Place DNR Service Center
Address:810 W. Maple Street, Spooner, WI 54801
Registration Deadline Download the registration form, [PDF],
complete and send to Andrew Krismer by March 12, 2020 (see form for details).
Audience Adults who want to teach others how to fish.
Class Size This class is limited to 20 people. Reserve your seat and register now!
Host: DNR Staff
Many thanks!
Contact: Theresa Stabo, (608) 577-6332 or
Andrew Krismer, (608) 333-2057.

Click on the envelope icon to subscribe to GovDelivery and get timely updates to this schedule:

Schedule a workshop

To schedule a volunteer or teacher training workshop in your community, please contact Theresa Stabo, R3 Coordinator, 608-577-6332. We need a minimum of 8 to 12 adult participants, depending on location, to hold a workshop.

Loaner gear

Tackle Loaner Program

No fishing rod? No problem. We have fishing equipment you can borrow at several DNR offices and state parks and facilities. There is no charge to borrow the equipment — just enjoy your day fishing in Wisconsin and return the equipment in the condition you received it (or better) so that the next person can enjoy it.

Check out the fishing equipment contacts page for information on who to contact to find out exactly what kind of gear is available near you. If you have general questions about the tackle loaner program contact Theresa Stabo, 608-577-6332.

Available gear

While special lures and fresh bait are not provided, we generally have the following basic equipment at most sites:

The DNR has equipment you can borrow to get children hooked on fishing.

  • many closed face fishing rods and reels;
  • a few open face rods and reels;
  • casting plugs;
  • bobbers; and
  • hooks, lines and sinkers

In addition to fishing equipment, some sites (but not all) have fish printing materials, knot-tying practice equipment, Backyard Bass (a casting game) and other educational resources like Fish Packs [PDF]. Fish Packs are stocked with games, stories and activities that help youngsters learn about Wisconsin fish. Check one out or download the link for ideas to create your own. Inquire when you contact or visit a loaner site to see exactly what they have to offer.

Keep in mind

Before you plan a fishing trip around loaner equipment, know that:

  • equipment is available on a first come, first served basis; and
  • you may borrow equipment for up to one week, unless demand is low in your area. Ask the contact in your area if an extension is possible.

Follow the Golden Rule

Please return loaner equipment in the condition you would like it to be when you borrow it.

  • Make proper handling and care of equipment part of your angler or fishing education program.
  • If the equipment was damaged, return all the parts with a note explaining what happened.
  • Instructions to fix a tangled reel [PDF].

The most popular time for borrowing the equipment is also the busiest time for our field staff – spring and early summer. Please help them out by returning the equipment clean and in good working order. If something breaks — which sometimes happens — fix it if you can, or bring the problem to our staff’s attention so the next group will have functional equipment. Your help with maintenance frees up our field staff for stocking fish and working on habitat projects.

Adopt a fishing tackle loaner site

Many tackle loaner sites would welcome help with equipment maintenance. This would be a great volunteer service project for scouts, students, fishing clubs or anyone who’d like to pitch in and ensure that our gear is in shape for beginner anglers. Materials will be provided for re-spooling and general clean-up. Loaner sites that want help are marked with a VM. Locate the site nearest you on the fishing equipment contacts page and call them to find out how you can help. Thank you!

Clinics

Fishing clinics

Throughout the year, the Department of Natural Resources works with local parks departments, fishing clubs and organizations to host fishing clinics and other events. Thanks to all clinic hosts and sponsors!

Community Madison Area
Start Date Monday, January 27, 2020
Session 1 –
Fish and habitat
Monday, January 27, 2020, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., DNR Regional Headquarters in Fitchburg, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd
Session 2 –
Know your gear
Tuesday, January 28, 2020, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., DNR Regional Headquarters in Fitchburg, 3911 Fish Hatchery Rd
Session 3 –
Ice fishing outing
Saturday, February 1, 2020, start time 9, until they stop biting, We’ll be based at the Brittingham Boat House on Lake Monona.
Session 4 –
Cook the catch
Monday, February 3, 2020, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. West High School Culinary Arts Room
Session 5 –
Ice fishing outing
Saturday, February 8, 2020, start time 9, Brittingham Boat House on Lake Monona.
Registration Hold your spot with this registration form [PDF] and a check for $15. (We’re kind of old fashioned with our registration.)
Registration deadline for Madison class: January 21, 2020
Deposit: $15.00, refundable upon arrival at first class
Details Check out the flyer [PDF] and share with reckless abandon!
Questions? For more information contact Theresa Stabo, (608) 577-6332 or
Andrew Krismer, (608) 333-2057.
Community Onalaska – La Crosse Area
Classroom Site U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Midwest Service Center
555 Lester Ave, Onalaska
Start Date Wednesday, February 19, 2020
Session 1 –
Fish and habitat
Wednesday, February 19, 2020, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Session 2 –
Know your gear
Thursday, February 20, 2020, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Session 3 –
Ice fishing outing
Saturday, February 22, 2020, 9 a.m. to Noon – location to be announced
Session 4 –
Cook the catch
Sunday, February 23, 2020, 2 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Session 5 –
Ice fishing outing
Saturday, February 29, 2020
Registration Hold your spot with this registration form [PDF] and a check for $15. (We’re kind of old fashioned with our registration.)
Registration deadline for Onalaska class: February 10, 2020
Deposit: $15.00, refundable upon arrival at first class
Partners U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Details Check out the flyer [PDF] and share with reckless abandon!
Questions? For more information contact Theresa Stabo, (608) 577-6332 or
Andrew Krismer, (608) 333-2057.

We’ll post more clinics as we learn of them. Please check back.

Dates to remember

Don’t forget about Free Fishing Weekend, always the 1st weekend in June and the 3rd weekend in January – no license required. Mark your calendars now to plan your next Free Fishing Weekend outing for your organization or friends and family:

  • Free Fishing Weekend – Winter, January 19 & 20, 2019
  • Free Fishing Weekend – Summer, June 1 & 2, 2019

¿Habla usted español?

Enseñan

Necesitamos pescadores que hablen español para patrocinar o ayudar en nuestras clínicas de pesca. Estos eventos enseñan a pescar a gente de todas edades.

Por favor déjenos saber que usted habla español si usted va ofrecer una clínica de pesca, o si va ayudar como voluntario, e incluiremos un aviso que “se habla español” en el anuncio de estos eventos en nuestro sitio Web.

Koj puas paub hais lus hmoob?

Peb xav yuav neeg uas paub hais lub hmoob los qhuas qhia neeg txhua lub noob nyoog txog nuv ntses. Yog nej muaj lus xav qhuas qhias thiab txawj hais lub hmoob, thov nej qhia rau peb paub. Yog nej xav tuaj pab thiab paub lub hmoob, thov nej qhia rau peb thiab. Peb mam li tshaj tawm rau ntawm peb lub Web site kom txhua tus hnov tias muaj neeg uas paub hais lus hmoob tuaj qhia txog nuv ntses.

Plan a fishing clinic

Anytime is a good time to start planning a fishing clinic. Download the Fishing Clinic Planner [PDF] to help get yourself organized. Return your completed form to the Angler Education Office at the DNR. Contact the Angler R3 Office if you would like a planning form mailed to you.

Participants 16 years or older likely will need fishing licenses to fish at most events, unless they occur on Free Fishing Weekend. Call contacts for complete information.

Borrow a rod, keep the memories

No fishing pole? No worries. Contact a Tackle Loaner site at one of several state parks and DNR regional offices to borrow one. Pack up the family or call your friends and head to the water.

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