Sarah leads call to hook into fishing fun

SARAH Van Stokrom has always enjoyed the outdoors, from fishing to camping, and is now sharing her passion with the rest of Victoria.

The Inverloch woman is the state coordinator of Fishcare Victoria, a program that encourages responsible fishing and stewardship of the state’s fresh and salt waterways.

The community operated, not for profit group is funded by fishing licence revenue, through the Recreational Fishing Licence trust fund.

Ms Van Stokrom manages volunteer members of six groups across the state and is keen to establish a new group servicing South Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley.

“We are addressing sustainability and we want people to fish responsibly, but it’s about breaking down that stigma that fishing is hard to get into it,” she said.

“You can keep fishing as simple or as technical as you like. It’s an intergenerational activity and we want to get kids interested in fishing and their parents too.”

Volunteers deliver fishing clinics and workshops to children about caring for the environment, present at community events, talking with anglers, marketing and working with students on projects.

Fishcare members will be at the upcoming Yarram Agricultural Show, spreading the word about fishing.

“When the kids catch a fish for the first time, they’re so excited and that’s very rewarding,” Ms Van Stokrom said.

Fishcare aims to teach people about the impacts of litter and pest plants and animals on the environment, how to handle fish when they are caught, and promote the use of environmentally sustainable tackle such as non-lead sinkers and circle hooks that are easier to remove than conventional hooks.

“It’s generating that change in behaviour to the younger generations to ensure they treat the environment with respect,” Ms Van Stokrom said.

She works with a state committee and her role takes her across Victoria, from south west Victoria to Ballarat, and Melbourne to East Gippsland.

Anyone interested in joining a new group in South Gippsland and Latrobe Valley can contact Ms Van Stokrom on 0437 672 242.

“We want to get younger adults who are interested in fishing as well as the older group,” she said.

Ms Van Stokrom flagged the prospect of a monthly family fishing day at Inverloch and Anderson Inlet, with a barbecue.

Training is provided to volunteers, covering such skills as fishing rules, running a workshop, first aid training and a Working with Children check.

“We are trying to get funding for an underwater activity to create an underwater environment in a pool for children to identify rubber fish and see plastic bags and hooks and the threat to the environment,” Ms Van Stokrom said.

Before joining Fishcare, Ms Van Stokrom worked with Bass Coast Landcare Network.

Making a difference: Fishcare Victoria state coordinator Sarah Van Stokrom is keen to establish a South Gippsland group, while working from her Inverloch home to grow Fishcare across Victoria.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=23218

Posted by on Nov 14 2017. Filed under Community. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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