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David Sparks Ph.d Forest Service
by David Sparks Ph.d, click here for bio

Program: Sportsman's Spotlight
Date: June 26, 2019

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Thought about perhaps taking your boat out in the water this week perhaps bringing a fishing rod and tackle box along to catch some fish while you're at it. That is perhaps the best way one can celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week. This first week of June, Nat Gillespie of the U.S. Forest Service, offers this recommendation for a fishing spot or boat launch. Your nearby National Forest or grassland.

"We're blessed with some of the best fisheries in the country over 220,000 miles of fishbowl rivers and streams. Ten million acres of lakes and reservoirs and ponds, incredible saltwater fisheries, particularly in the coast of Alaska."

And the adds making sure clean, available and healthy water sources for recreation opportunities, such as fishing and boating, is part of the agency's mission.

"The Forest Service does all kinds of multiple use activities but we're taking care of lands and watersheds for recreation which is by far the biggest economy on Forest Service land. There's a lot of work going on out there with a variety of other partners to try to make sure that the incredible recreation that we offer is there for future generations. And we work with the states who manage the regulations for fishing and we manage the habitat so that's how this partnership works among the Forest Service and their state agency partners.

Nat Gillespie National Fisheries Program Leader for the U.S. Forest Service acknowledges part of the Forest Service management of waterways and bodies of water for outdoor recreation involves assuring boating rules and regulations are observed and that invasive plant species are not accidentally transferred by boats into habitat that could threaten native plant and wildlife species... wildlife meaning fish or otherwise.

"The Forest Service staff, fish biologists, law enforcement staff, they're always working with the state partners to make sure that when we recreate we're doing it in a responsible manner and not spreading invasive species that can change the food web or cause a native species to vanish locally and we do all this through great partnerships."

You can learn about rules, regulations and recreational opportunities at your local national forest ranger station or visitor center or online at www.fs.fed.us , provides information resources on fishing and boating opportunities in your area or elsewhere across the country.

"These are lands that every one of us own as an American citizen and so we want to make sure that people know about the opportunities for recreation out there, whether it's boating, canoeing, fishing, hunting."

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