ONE OF 2015’S WINNERS Issaih Salgado, then-15, of Palmdale (left) hangs with event organizer Bill Bowling. (Jim Burns)
And now for some gloom-free news: For all of you who have sorely missed FoLAR’s “Off Tha Hook” fishing throwback on the LA River, rejoice:
Trout Unlimited’s South Coast Chapter, based in OC, has been awarded a $20,000 grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to provide instruction, equipment, and support for local families to participate in a series of fishing outings on the Los Angeles River this year, according to the TU website.
The funding for this grant comes from the George H. W. Bush Vamos a Pescar Education Fund administered by the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. The Vamos a Pescar initiative is focused on engaging Hispanic families in fishing, boating, and conservation activities.
As a consultant on “Off Tha Hook,” I’m super excited kids will once again have a structured way to engage our river and catch the passion we all love. My favorite memories of the three fishing throwback years were of kids — kids rushing down the rip-rap to get to the water; kids learning how to knot a hook on a line; kids wondering where in the heck all the fish went; and — blam — kids hooking up on possibly the first fish of their young lives.
TROUT UNLIMITED’S Bob Blankenship meets the official greeter during the last “Off Tha Hook” in 2016. (Jim Burns).
As TU chapter president Robert Blankenship, who was instrumental in “Off Tha Hook” along with FoLAR co-founder Lewis MacAdams and former all-star-staffer William Preston Bowling, said in that same post:
“In an increasingly wired world, fishing encourages Americans young and old to discover and connect with the nature around us, even in highly urbanized settings such as the greater Los Angeles area. This grant funding will allow us to introduce dozens of kids and adults to the wonders of fishing who may never have had such opportunity.”
Events begin in May, including one on a no-fishing-license-required day, July 7. Read the post for more information.
See you on the river, Jim Burns