The student chapter of the American Fisheries Society (AFS) hosted the second annual Little Fishing Trip at the Duck Pond in September. The event seeks to teach young children about science and nature. Sixteen 4-year- olds from Virginia Tech’s Center for Child Development, Learning, and Research (CCDLR) participated, and many of them got to experience fishing for the first time.

“This event is important for the children because they need to get outside and experience our natural world,” said Corbin Hilling, AFS chapter president. “These children are the environmental stewards of the future, and gaining an appreciation for the recreational opportunities nature provides may encourage them to support the responsible use of our natural resources.”

Associate Professor Emmanuel Frimpong, who served as the liaison between the CCDLR and the AFS, said that because the weather was warmer this year, the children were catching more fish, which made the learning experience more fun. “This year almost all the children caught one or more fish throughout the two hours, and they were visibly excited,” he said.

Hilling noted that both the children and the AFS members who helped with the event took away valuable knowledge from the experience. “I think the children learned what most anglers learn — patience. They learned about fish and fishing, but also about sticking with something when you’re learning or not having success. This was also a good experience for our AFS members, who learned about communication, sharing your skills and knowledge, and leadership. I think both groups benefitted from the experience,” he said.