Aquatic Resources Education Association


Title of Presentation: Evaluation of the Pennsylvania 4H Sportsfishing Program: Assessment of Youth Attitudes, Motivations, and Constraints towards Fishing

Authors: Marisa E. Oliva, Research Assistant, School of Forest Resources The Pennsylvania State University, 111 Ferguson Bldg., State College, PA, 16801. Dr. Grace A. Wang, Assistant Professor, Natural Resource Sciences
The Pennsylvania State University 208 Ferguson Building, University Park, PA 16802

Presenter: Marisa E. Oliva, Research Assistant, School of Forest Resources

A/V Needs: Slide Projector

Abstract: In an effort to recruit and retain youth anglers, the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PaFBC), the Pennsylvania State University and Pennsylvania 4H are collaborating to develop a Sportsfishing Project book. One goal of the PaFBC in reaching out to new populations is to increase the base of licensed anglers, in turn providing continuing monetary support for future sportsfishing and educational programs. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the project in terms of its usefulness and viability as a curriculum that provides children with the opportunity and ability to become anglers, regardless of location or socioeconomic constraints. In counties selected, short surveys and focus groups are administered to Pennsylvania youth, ages 10-12 in both rural and urban 4H settings. Preliminary findings indicate that parental attitude towards fishing and social inclusion of youth is an important influence on a child’s experience and attitude towards fishing. Preliminary conclusions suggest that: Parental involvement and support of a child’s desire to fish needs to be emphasized in most communities; especially in urban cities; social settings with adults and mentors should be encouraged, especially among females and minorities; and barriers that prevent access to "fishing waters" need to be eliminated, by bringing the kids to the water. The study is both quantitative and qualitative in scope. Data is gathered using several interrelated components: questionnaires, focus groups, and surveys. Data from surveys and the evaluation are coded and translated using the SPSS statistical package. Information from focus groups and evaluation booklet are analyzed qualitatively.