- Department of Conservation & Recreation
Media Contact for Reel Fun Fishing Days Program Brings Fishing, Fun, and Environmental Education to Greater Boston Families
Chloe Gotsis, DCR Communications Director
Boston — As part of their ongoing work to provide families with low-cost fun recreational activities during the summer, the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game (DFG), the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife), the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF), and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) are partnering with the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), National Park Service, Boston Harbor Now, Save the Harbor Save the Bay, The Trustees of Reservations, and Elevate Youth to host a series of free learn to fish community events in East Boston, South Boston and Quincy. The second event in the series, Reel Fun Fishing Days, was held Saturday on Castle Island following a successful event at Deer Island in June and the final is scheduled for Nut Island in Quincy in September.
“It is a top priority of mine for the Department of Fish and Game to connect with environmental justice communities and provide equitable access to all wildlife and fisheries-based recreation and conservation opportunities,” said DFG Commissioner Tom O’Shea. “To do this, we must establish community-based partnerships like the Reel Fun Fishing Days partnership, which has been very successful in providing fun and accessible fishing and environmental education for youth and families in greater Boston.”
“Events, like Reel Fun Fishing Days, that provide access to fun and low-cost outdoor recreation are critical to building healthy families,” said DCR Commissioner Brian Arrigo. “DCR is committed to continuing to work with our state agency and nonprofit partners on building more opportunities for our environmental justice and underserved communities to engage in family-friendly skill-building and nature-focused activities like learning to fish. We are thrilled with the success of this program and look forward to many more.”
On Saturday, staff and volunteers from DMF, MassWildlife, and DCR provided fishing tackle and bait to beginning anglers, and helped kids learn how to fish for and identify saltwater fish. National Park Service Rangers were on hand to help and swear-in “official” Boston Harbor Islands Junior Rangers and the Trustees Mobile Adventures team provided fishing and nature games and other activities. The MWRA sponsored games, coloring, and taught kids about “what not to flush,” and Save the Harbor/Save the Bay showed off “real crabs” and provided instruction about Boston Harbor's biodiversity. Representatives from Elevate Youth, a nonprofit aimed at empowering young people to explore nature and the outdoors alongside mentors, connected with kids and families.
“Reel Fun Fishing Days provide a chance for everyone of all ages and backgrounds to experience the quietude, passion, and joy of being one with nature right here on our own harbor,” said Jack Murray, Vice President of Partnerships and Operations at Boston Harbor Now. “Fishing teaches us patience and skill, but more than that, an appreciation of our natural environment. We are proud to partner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and so many dedicated organizations who share a commitment to protecting our great outdoors.”
Reel Fun Fishing Days was created as a partnership in 2022, as part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the Boston Harbor Islands National Park. This year, the partnership sponsored a learn to fish event at Deer Island in East Boston on June 3 and the Castle Island event on August 12. The final Reel Fun Fishing Day at Nut Island in Quincy will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
In addition to DFG, DMF, MassWildlife, DCR, MWRA, Boston Harbor Now, the National Park Service, The Trustees of Reservations, Save the Harbor Save the Bay and Elevate Youth, Reel Fun Fishing Days receives support from the National Park Foundation and L.L. Bean.
For information on more learn to fish programs happening this summer see DMF’s and MassWildlife’s websites to learn to fish websites. For more information on upcoming Boston Harbor Now events click here. See DCR’s website to learn more about fishing in state parks and reservoirs and about the accessible fishing spots available through DCR’s Universal Access Program. This website includes information about fishing in the Quabbin and Wachusett reservoirs, which are popular fishing destinations that have special regulations and seasons.