From Steve Marshall firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida developed a two full day, weekend, women’s outdoor skills workshop targeted at learning fishing skills. We came up with a plan of what we wanted to cover, developed curriculum to fit the time table, developed pre and post feedback tools, ran the pilot workshop and ran the numbers. What follows are some quick notes on the workshop. If you would like a more in-depth summary, email me directly.
The workshop ran Friday afternoon-evening, all day and early evening Saturday and Sunday morning at one of our overnight Youth Conservation Centers located on a freshwater lake in central Florida. Friday afternoon we covered basic topics and spent the last 45 minutes on monitored fishing time with live/natural baits. There were a total of 13 participants in this pilot workshop and all were given a push button spin-casting rod and reel and tackle box stocked with predominantly freshwater types of terminal tackle. Saturday additional topics were covered, and at various times throughout the day a total of 3.5 hours of monitored fishing activity occurred utilizing different artificial lures and live/natural baits. Sunday morning recapped, answered any remaining questions and included another 2 hours of monitored fishing with lures and live/natural baits. After post-program feedback tools were completed, the group was asked the following:
- Did you learn the fishing skills you need to safely participate in fishing without the assistance of someone else who is highly skilled at fishing? 12 answered – YES, 1 answered – MAYBE
- Did you learn the fishing skills you need to pass along this activity to family and/or friends? 12 answered – YES, 1 answered – MAYBE
Analysis of the 13 pre-feedback tools provided the following results. When asked, “In the past twelve months, how many days did you go fishing?” one participant answered one time and all others answered no times. When asked, “During which of the following years (2010 through 2019) did you go fishing at least once? six had not fished in any of those years, five had fished in one of those years, one had fished in two of those years and one had fished in three of those years. For this pilot workshop, we purposefully selected these thirteen individuals, from a larger pool of applicants, because of their very low current and historically low levels of fishing participation. However, they had all demonstrated interest in learning to fish.
For a number of questions on the pre and post-feedback tools, we asked participants for fishing skills and confidence to fish on their own levels. Answers were ranked from 1 (very weak skills) to 5 (very strong skills) and from 1 (not at all confident) to 4 (very confident). According to Wilcoxon signed-rank analysis of the participant’s responses, all skill categories and personal confidence showed significant increases at the P<0.01 level.
Some additional questions covered the area of personal behavior associated with ethical angling practices and their support of aquatic conservation projects. Answers were ranked from 1 (very unlikely) to 4 (very likely). According to Wilcoxon signed-rank analysis of the participant’s responses, all personal behavior attitudes showed no significant changes. This is explained by all pre-feedback tool means starting higher than a 3.00 score.
The workshop pre-screened individuals to select individuals that were new to fishing or lapsed anglers. Pre and post-feedback and summary discussions with the group showed that skill levels, ability to pass on fishing skills and confidence to fish on their own was clearly established in twelve of the 13 participants. Although a very small sample size, we will be following up with them to see how active they become as anglers.