Catching the Big One…Fishing for the Future

Catching the Big One…Fishing for the Future

Canalino Elementary Students - Photo credit Kim Marme.Canalino Elementary Student. Photo credit: Kim Marme.Last Fall, through a grant opportunity with Every Kid in the Park, over one hundred 4th grade students took the day off school to go fishing–catch and release style! For most, this was their first time going out on a boat to fish and explore the ocean. Armed only with their curiosity, fish identification guides, and rods and reels, these students were able to get up close and personal with local fish such as mackerel, kelp bass, California halibut, white seabass, and lingcod.

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary and Friends of Rollo collaborated with Stardust Sportfishing to provide this opportunity for students to explore the luscious kelp forests and rocky reefs off the Santa Barbara Coast. The crew aboard the Stardust worked closely with students, first introducing them to the fishing tackle gear and then teaching best practices for catch and release fishing. Channel Islands Naturalist Corp Volunteers were on hand to help identify the abundant sea lions, dolphins and seabirds they encountered as they plied the waters through the Santa Barbara Channel.

Before heading out to sea, marine scientists with Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary provided students with an overview of the diverse marine life teeming off the Santa Barbara coast and discussed why the Channel Islands are a special place protected as both a National Marine Sanctuary and National Park. Overall, it was a great day at sea for these kids. They experienced an ocean environment that is abundant with life. Fortunately, the weather was picture perfect with calm seas and sunny skies, a boater’s paradise and a great way to introduce these kids to their ocean backyard off the Santa Barbara coast. Hopefully these new ocean enthusiasts will come back with their families, to share with them the ocean bounty that thrives off our coast.

Contact: Julie Bursek
Team Lead Education and Outreach
Phone: (805) 893-6422

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