California juniors teach kids about fishing

SACRAMENTO — Members of the Junior Bass Buddies in California helped out at the International Sportsmen's Expo Youth Fair this past winter. Club members assisted children at the trout pond and assembled badges for California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) "junior officers."

The teens were on hand for all three days of the fair, which is put on by the DFW and the Wilderness Unlimited Foundation (WUF).

DFW staff were running numerous activities and staffing informational booths. “We couldn’t have assembled the thousands of badges and been available to represent our agency to the families in attendance,” explained Joe Ferreira, DFW fisheries biologist. “One of the club parents asked if we needed any help, and we were very relieved when they agreed to handle the badges for us.”

“This is an awesome opportunity to show the public that everyone, both youth and old, can be responsible stewards of the environment," said WUF CEO Rick Copeland. "These youth volunteers not only make sure each kid catches a fish, but they show them how to handle a fish without harming them. It’s a powerful and lasting lesson.”

The Junior Bass Buddies club plans to help again in 2014, possibly including a CastingKids event.