With the new school year having begun, it is time for young anglers to register for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) 2023-24 School Fishing Club Program! This annual educational program focuses on teaching youth anglers about best fishing practices to help ensure the future of fishing in Florida.
To register, club sponsors will need to apply for a Florida R3 Fishing Grant, which is funded by the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, Coastal Conservation Association, and the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida. This grant will award up to 50 school fishing clubs or teams $500 each to assist with club expenses, such as the purchase of fishing licenses or gear for participants. The grant application period is open now until Sept. 15 but grant funding is not required to participate in the School Fishing Club Program.
Each participating club will be provided with program curriculum and educational materials to be taught throughout the school year by the club sponsor. The curriculum is comprised of lessons and activities on ethical angling, conservation, Florida’s aquatic habitats, basic fishing gear, and general fishing concepts, and is applicable to both fresh and saltwater fishing. Additionally, at least one conservation project activity must be completed each school year and is an opportunity for clubs to earn points for a chance to win prizes.
The deadline for submitting applications is Sept. 15. The application can be found online at MyFWC.com/SFC by scrolling down to “Florida’s R3 Fishing Grant Program.” Applicants can complete the form online or download the application to submit by email. Please email completed applications to R3Fishing@MyFWC.com. The 2023-24 School Fishing Club Program is supported by partners including Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida, Coastal Conservation Association, Mud Hole Custom Tackle, Pure Fishing and the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.
The grant program is open to new or existing freshwater and/or saltwater fishing clubs or teams at public, private and charter schools throughout Florida. To be considered for the grant, school fishing clubs or teams must have a minimum of five members and be represented by a school faculty member or parent.