Hooked On Fishing – Not On Drugs® Comes to Alabama

Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs® has come to Alabama. Eighteen leaders from private industry, public and private schools, and a civic organization came together to learn how to give kids a positive alternative to drugs. Leaders traveled from Auburn, Birmingham, Decatur, Huntsville, Montgomery, Opelika and Wetumpka to the workshop. Instructors for the workshop were Laura Jerome from the Future Fisherman Foundation in Washington, D.C., and Doug Darr with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division. Darr is the Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) coordinator for Alabama.

All HOFNOD programs contain three elements: fishing skills, aquatic ecology/conservation and drug prevention. Teaching fishing allows students to have a series of small successes that encourage the development of self-esteem. Aquatic ecology teaches students that they are a part of something larger, and that they can have a positive impact on their environment. The drug prevention part of the program helps students make healthy life choices and gives them a positive outlet. Certified instructors enjoyed hands-on activities and were given a number of materials they could use in the classroom and on the water.

Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs® is a hands-on, outdoor education program which uses recreational fishing as an instructional tool. HOFNOD encourages young people to make responsible and knowledgeable choices concerning their environment and lifestyle. HOFNOD is a curriculum-based program with supporting structured activities that are delivered by trained instructors. Augmented by family and community involvement, HOFNOD emphasizes the positive role of mentors. “The HOFNOD mission meshes nicely with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s mission to manage, protect, conserve, and enhance the wildlife and aquatic resources of Alabama for the sustainable benefit of the people of Alabama,” noted Corky Pugh, the Director of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division.

Youth leaders who would like to be notified of the next free HOFNOD training should telephone Doug Darr at 334-242-3884 or email him at doug.darr@dcnr.alabama.gov.