IU1 Campus Schools got to experience “New Anglers for Stream Health”

Patsy’s Lake LLC

Everyone is back in action at the Intermediate Unit 1 (IU1) Educational Campus’ and are off to a swimmingly great start! Fishing in local streams is a time-honored pastime and inter-generational activity of those in Southwestern Pennsylvania. During the week of October 11, 2021, students, and teachers of all three IU1 Educational Campuses at Colonial, Laboratory, and Waynesburg participated in IU1’s “New Anglers for Stream Health” program through the R3 Education Grant (R3 Grant).  The R3 Grant through the PA Fish and Boat Commission provides funding to educational partners who strive to support the learning opportunities around the recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of anglers and boaters in PA and stream health studies. The R3 Grant hopes to increase the diversity of PA Anglers by recruiting and retaining underrepresented PA residents of all ages.

Over the course of three days, 25 students at the IU1 Educational campuses got to experience the “New Anglers for Stream Health” program firsthand at Patsy’s Lake LLC, a family-owned lake in Fayette County, PA. Those at Patsy’s Lake graciously welcomed the students to the lake and were excited to see the students fishing successfully and engaged in outdoor learning. Funding from the R3 Grant supported each campus school with obtaining fishing supplies and equipment, a PA Pond and Stream Study Guide to incorporate into their current environment and ecology curriculum, and field trip costs. All involved got to enjoy a great day, with wonderful weather, peaceful environment, and a delicious picnic-style lunch provided by Republic Food Enterprise Center.  Republic Food Enterprise Center is a farm to table center in Republic, PA that promotes the economical, physical, and environmental health of our community by making local, healthy foods available to everyone.

This program gives students an opportunity to practice basic fishing skills in an outdoor environment and study the importance of stream health that may not ever get this experience outside of school. For many students, it was their first-time fishing and often commented on their favorite parts of the day that included getting outside and learning something new. One student at the IU1 Educational Campus at Laboratory stated, “It was my first time ever fishing, and catching a fish was my favorite part of the day!”

Future plans for school year and the R3 Program are already in motion and will include a visit from the PA Fishing Boat Commission with a presentation on the “I’m a SMART Angler Program” and casting practice with Backyard Bass.  This program teaches about different PA fish, habitats, outdoor manners, and ways to protect our water resources.  This day will impact over 250 students at the three campus schools. Teachers have plans to incorporate these programs with current initiatives in their schools including Trout in the Classroom and Aquaponics to continue the study of stream health. Some students even caught fish to take back to their aquaponics tanks!

Photos from Fishing Trip
Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake
Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake Enjoying a day at Patsy's Lake