Fishing program aims to connect local kids with Anacostia River

This is the fifth year Anacostia Riverkeeper has been able to put on its Friday Night Fishing program. (Courtesy Anacostia Riverkeeper)

WASHINGTON – Recreation may not be the first thing you think of when it comes to the Anacostia River, but one local organization is working to change that perception.

Anacostia Riverkeeper is the organization behind the summer Friday Night Fishing program that gives children the chance to learn to fish – for free.

Part of the group’s mission is to “create opportunities for folks to engage in activities on or near the Anacostia River to raise awareness of the river, its history of neglect, and ongoing efforts to restore the river’s health,” Riverkeeper Emily Franc told WTOP.

During the summer months, families are invited to come out to Diamond Teague Park near Nationals Park for catch-and-release fishing. Gear is provided, including lifejackets for the kids. A professional angler is on hand to work with the children and show them the ropes. Fishing licenses are not required for families; if anyone over the age of 16 attends solo, they will need to have a fishing license.

One of the goals of the fishing program is to “take the hesitation out of it,” said Franc. The idea is to have community members become more familiar with the river and to feel a connection.

Last summer, Franc said 600 children and their families came out to participate in Friday Night Fishing.

If you can’t make it to this Friday’s fishing event, there’s one more chance this summer from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 25. Anacostia Riverkeeper provides updates via Twitter, so you’ll know if weather will be problematic.

This is the fifth year Anacostia Riverkeeper has offered the fishing program, through the support of Walmart and Capital Hill Community Foundation. The organization plans to continue Friday Night Fishing next summer.

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