Youth events highlight National Fishing and Boating Week, June 4-12

    PRATT-Research from the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that kids spend an astounding 44 hours a week with television, computers and video games.  Perhaps that's why Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," says that kids today suffer from "nature deficit disorder."  The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) suggests that parents seeking a cure should try family fishing.
    "I've interviewed many parents across the country who want to get their kids outside, but they don't necessarily know where to go or how to do it," said Louv.  "Because it's so easy to do and so widely accessible, fishing is a great solution for many parents."
    "Fishing differs from many other forms of outdoor recreation because it not only gives kids a lasting way to connect with nature, it improves family communication in ways few activities can," said Bruce Matthews, RBFF president.  "National Fishing and Boating Week gets things headed in the right direction by getting kids interested in fishing and boating early."
    Dean Cain serves as 2005 Honorary Chairman of National Fishing and Boating Week.  Best known for his role as Superman/Clark Kent in "Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman," Cain is an avid angler who enjoys fishing with his four-year-old son.
    A variety of fishing clinics and events are scheduled across Kansas as part of the National Fishing and Boating Week observance.  The week begins with Free Fishing Days June 4 and 5.  Anyone, resident or nonresident, may fish in Kansas those two days without a fishing license.
    According to RBFF, more than 50 million Americans participate in fishing and boating every year.  That's more than play golf and tennis combined.  In addition, the bulk of funding for managing and conserving aquatic resources comes from the sale of fishing licenses, and from excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuel.  These funds ensure that fishery resources are well-managed, accessible and conserved for future generations to enjoy, Matthews said.