Vintage/Retired GS badges and memorabilia
Georgia boasts over 4,000 miles of trout streams, 12,000 miles of warm-water streams and more than one-half million acres of impoundments. More than 1.1 million anglers of all ages fish in Georgia. These anglers spend about $1 billion annually on fishing, having a total annual impact of over $2 billion to the state's economy. And what’s more – they’re having fun in the out-of-doors!
1. Know Your Fish
2. Find the Right Rod – and Cast Away!
3. Wet your line!
4. “Respect authority”
5. Fishy Field Trips
Purpose: When I have earned this badge, I will know how to fish with a rod or pole, know Georgia’s fishing regulations, and know how to stay safe while fishing.
STEP 1: KNOW YOUR FISH What kind of fish is this? Are there piranhas in Georgia? Where can I catch a trout? Is eating fish good for you? How does eating fish affect the environment? There’s a lot to learn before you even wet a line!
CHOICES – DO ONE:
“What kind of fish is this?” is often asked by beginning anglers. Find out about at least five different types of Georgia freshwater fish:
Give a description of each fish or be able to identify it;
describe its habitat;
its food requirements;
the type of bait used to catch it;
its range in Georgia or where you would typically find it.
OR… Girls and adults MUST USE Girl Scouts of the USA’s “Fishing: Safety Activity Checkpoints” as they do these activities, including having adults with American Red Cross Basic Water Rescue certification on site, even when fishing from shore.
3 Eating fish can be part of a healthy diet; it’s a good source of protein and is low in fat. It’s hard to believe that fish that looks, smells, and tastes fine may not be safe to eat. But the truth is that fish caught in some lakes, ponds, and rivers have mercury or other pollutants in them. Go online to research how much and what kinds of fish are safe to eat. Then find out what sustainable fishing means. After you’ve completed your research, decide which – if any – local fish to prepare for a family or camp meal.
OR… With fishing being so popular in Georgia, it seems only fitting that we have a State Fish! Find out what Georgia’s State Fish is, what it looks like, and why it was chosen. Where does this fish live (what kind of water?) What does it like to eat? If you wanted to catch this fish, what equipment would you need? Create a poster or skit to share what you learn about Georgia’s State Fish with another group.
STEP 2: RESPECT AUTHORITY ”I will do my best to respect authority…use resources wisely…make the world a better place.” (The Girl Scout Law) Before you begin fishing, it’s very important to know about the laws or regulations that help protect Georgia’s natural resources.
Know the fishing rules and regulations for Georgia. A Georgia Rules and Regulations booklet is published each year and contains information you need to know to fish in freshwater and saltwater in Georgia. To see a digital version of the current Fishing Regulations go to http://www.georgiawildlife.org/fishing.Decide as a group how you will help each other learn and follow these regulations.
OR… Learn about Georgia’s fishing laws and regulations by interviewing a Wildlife Ranger (game warden) or other knowledgeable person. Some things you might ask include: Who needs a fishing license? Where do you get one? How much does it cost? What is the license fee used for? How many fish can you catch at one time? What is “catch and release”? Are there rules about when and where you can fish? What’s the most important thing to know before you start fishing?
OR… Read the following Angler’s Code of Conduct and discuss it with your troop or group; match the lines of the Code with parts of the Girl Scout Law: Angler’s Code of Conduct Know the fishing rules and regulations for Georgia. A Georgia Rules and Regulations booklet is published ach year. Only take what you can use. Learn and practice “catch and release”. Never leave fishing line, Styrofoam, bait boxes, or any kind of litter. Take all of your trash with you. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it; trash can harm and kill fish and other wildlife. Always ask before entering private land.
STEP 3: FIND THE RIGHT ROD AND CAST AWAY! What’s the difference between a fishing pole and a rod? Can I make my own pole? Is this going to cost a lot? Where do you buy hooks and lines and bobbers? You’ll need the right tools to be a successful angler!
Discover the different kinds of fishing rods and: the length of each type rod, the cost of the rods; what the different types are used for; how to assemble a rod; and how to use it. For MORE Fun: Learn what a casting plug is and what it is used for. Practice casting by playing the following casting game: Use an old tire, a hula hoop, or a piece of rope laid in a circle as a target. Take turns throwing the casting plug toward the target. You will score three points every time you hit inside the target. Find out what to do if your line gets caught or tangled.
OR… Find out about cane poles and cane pole fishing. Cut, cure, rig and fish with your own cane pole.
OR… Learn the proper way to tie a hook onto your fishing line using the Improved Clinch Knot (also called the Fisherman’s Knot,) and practice until you can do it easily. Learn how to bait your hook. Know how to attach or replace a float or bobber.
STEP 4: WETTING YOUR LINE That’s angler talk for “let’s get to fishing!” Georgia offers some of the best and most diverse freshwater fishing opportunities in the Southeast with more than 500,000 acres of reservoirs, Public Fishing Areas, small lakes, rivers and trout streams available to anglers. You’ll find a list at http://www.georgiawildlife.org/fishing/opportunities. You can also look for commercial fishing places. And don’t forget about Girl Scout camps!
Reservoirs are big water! They are lakes formed by damming a river and impounding (holding) the water. Once you know the fishing regulations and safety guidelines, plan and go on a fishing trip to one of Georgia’s reservoirs.
OR… Public Fishing Areas, also known as PFAs, are managed by the Wildlife Resources Division for fishing. Once you know the fishing regulations and safety guidelines, choose one of the nine "Perfect Fishing Areas" in Georgia then plan and go on a fishing trip there.
OR… Once you know the fishing regulations and safety guidelines, find a small lake or peaceful river near you or at a Girl Scout camp; plan your trip and go fishing!
STEP 5 – FISHY FIELD TRIPS With the help of an adult, plan a day or overnight trip to learn more about fish, fishing events and the fish business in Georgia.
Visit a fish hatchery, catfish farm, or another place whose business is “fish”. Talk to people and learn what they do there and the different jobs that are available. Find out what training or education you need to do those jobs.
OR… Kid's Fishing Events (or KFEs) are held around the state throughout the year, especially in the spring and summer. Search the calendar at http://www.georgiawildlife.com/news/events to see events by date and location. Click on event title for directions, times and contact information for events; choose your event, plan and go!
OR… The Go Fish Georgia Initiative promotes fishing as a family-friendly, fun activity that thousands of people across the state already enjoy and encourages others to get outside and give fishing a try. The Go Fish Center in Perry, Georgia, offers live fish and wildlife exhibits, fishing simulators, educational displays and a theater. Visit the Go Fish Center and experience wildlife conservation in a whole new way! Add the Badge to Your Journey It’s Your Planet – Love It! Is your troop or group working on the Get Moving! leadership journey? Going fishing is one way to complete the “Stomp In a Rain Puddle” activity for the Energize Award. Discover more about how fishing affects our environment. Now that I’ve earned this badge, I’m prepared to give service by: Volunteering at a Kid’s Fishing Event or teaching younger children how to fish (and be safe!) Making weather-proof copies of “The Angler’s Code” to post at a near-by fishing lake or at a Girl Scout camp where fishing is allowed. Make a Casting Game kit that other troops and groups may use. What are you inspired to do with your new skills? I’m inspired to: ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Sign Here: ______________________________________________