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Caithness News Bulletins July 2004

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Fishing Scottish Countryside Alliance  

Get Hooked on Fishing, a new initiative aimed at diverting children away from crime and onto the riverbanks, was officially launched today by Tony Andrews, Chairman of the Scottish Countryside Alliance Educational Trust at Forbes of Kingennie Country House, by Arbroath.

Get Hooked on Fishing is an initiative that takes youngsters from urban backgrounds fishing with qualified instructors. These kids will hopefully learn to appreciate the environment as well as learn a skill. The course will be primarily a practical based course with the emphasis on the waterside. The course will also contain information on environmental and conservation issues to make it clear that the kids should appreciate their surroundings and hopefully take care of it in the future.

Launching Get Hooked on Fishing, Tony Andrews, Chairman of SCAET said:
“The aim of Get Hooked on Fishing is to attract young people into angling and enjoyment of the countryside. An important part of the project is to divert youngsters from lives of crime and anti-social behaviour through taking them fishing and teaching them about their natural environment. However we want to attract boys and girls from as wide a range of backgrounds as possible. Too many of our youngsters do not understand our countryside, nor how it works; yet some will be the decision-makers of the future. This project ensures that they learn a skill for a lifetime leisure activity, participate in a sport and appreciate how to care for their environment.

"Angling is our most popular participatory sport, and every young person should have the chance of participating in it. Anglers are the guardians and the champions of our river, sea and loch environments.

“While this is simply the pilot project, we do hope to roll out Get Hooked on Fishing throughout all of Scotland. We hope that, in the future, many more children will be helped by Get Hooked on Fishing and our countryside, our environment and our communities will be helped as a result.”

Get Hooked on Fishing is based at the new Forbes Of Kingennie Country House. Over the next 6 weeks 72 youngsters will be taught about how to fish, clean and cook the fish they may catch.

They will be taught basic tackle details before taking part in the activity after which they will be taking part in the practical coarse fishing session up until lunch.

The lunch is a BBQ on the banks of Woodside Pool and there will then follow another practical session on Woodside Trout Pool. At the end of this session there will also be a practical demonstration of cleaning a trout ready for cooking, and a trout will be available each participant to take home with basic cooking instructions. All the kids will be given a "take home" pack with all the details of the day as well as a feedback form, which has to be filled out before leaving.

The instructors are Neil Anderson, David Anderson and Jim Doyle. Neil is a registered SGAIC Trout instructor and David and Jim are fishery approved instructors.