Integrated into the Forest Service NatureWatch
This page is maintained to highlight fish opportunities. Visit NatureWatch to find fish watching opportunities.
FishWatch is an aquatic and fisheries focused educational program
established to elevate awareness of the importance for fish
and clean water; encourage an interest and excitement for fish
viewing; provide fish viewing opportunities; and provide opportunities
for volunteers and partnerships to play a role in the conservation
of our aquatic resources.
To provide aquatic environmental education and interpretation
programs and materials to Forest Service employees, schools,
Program Sponsors and Partners
Every Forest Service dollar invested in cooperative projects
in 1995, was matched by $1.50 in partner cash, materials, or
skilled labor. Through these cooperative efforts the agency
accomplished -- as a percent of their total accomplishment:
44% of the aquatic education presentations and 45% of the multi-media
education products produced. Hundreds of partners participate
in FishWatch programs.
The target audience are the American public and international
travelers of all ages interested in viewing, learning, photographing,
and conserving, etc. our precious aquatic resources.
Audience Reached (size, demographics)
Hundreds of activities are held nation-wide including festivals,
slide programs, seminars, expositions, classes, snorkeling excursions,
multimedia products and more. In 1995 over 2 million days of
participation in fish education/viewing activities took place
on National Forest System lands.
Program History and Trends
In 1986, the President's Commission on America's Great Outdoors
recommended to the President that educators make the environment
an integral part of children's basic education. The Commission
also recommended that Federal natural resource agencies engage
in educational activities to bring school children to the resource.
Initiatives such as "Take Pride in America," "Volunteers
and Partnerships," and "Excellence in Education"
were joined by the Recreational Fishing Executive Order 12962,
signed by President Clinton in June, 1995. The Executive Order
calls for the Federal agencies to create a National Conservation
Plan to promote, among other things, public education and support
for aquatic resource conservation, ethics, and safety.
A compelling case can be made to increase emphasis on outreach
and education on aquatic resources. Decline in the health of
streams and lakes is unparalleled. While 7% of U.S. mammals
and birds are extinct or imperiled, about 36% of the fishes,
64% of the crayfishes, and 55% of U.S. freshwater mussels are
ranked as extinct or imperiled. During the past decade, there
has been a 60% increase in the number of freshwater North American
fishes at risk of extinction -- including many with substantial
recreational and commercial values.
- 2.3 million people participated fish viewing/education
activities on National Forest system lands last year. 27%
of the population enjoys fish viewing.
- More than 2,200 interactive aquatic education
presentations were made during 1995.
- Fisheries interpretive displays were developed
and placed at 73 sites.
- Nearly 300 multi-media aquatic educational
products (e.g., brochures, videos, news articles) were developed
for school children and the public.
- The Wenatchee River Salmon Festival, WA, attracts
13,000 visitors, annually.
- Each year 120,000 visitors learn about stream
ecology through the Kokanee Salmon Education Program at Lake
- In 1995 Forest Service Congressonal Fisheries
budget of 39.51 million resulted in net public recreational
fishing benefits of $1.5 billion - a return of over $38 for
each tax dollar invested.
- The Forest Service continues as the leading
Federal agency sponsor of National Fishing Week programs.
In 1995, the Forest Service hosted over 300 National Fishing
Week events that were attended by more than 88,000 children