Whether you are planning to visit a Georgia State Park or Historic Site or you just happen to stop by one on a whim, be sure to come “cast” away your worries by fishing – whether you have the fishing equipment or not! The Fishing Tackle Loaner Program, offered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division and State Parks and Historic Sites, provides loaner fishing poles and stocked tackle boxes to visitors, for FREE!
"This program provides budding anglers a way to try out fishing without having to purchase any equipment,” said John Biagi, fisheries chief of the Wildlife Resources Division. “It also encourages fishing activities at these nearby resource areas and helps remind visitors that Georgia has some great places to fish!”
Visitors should inquire about the program at park offices where they can check out the equipment for the day. Children under age 16 do not need a fishing license. However, interested anglers age 16 and up will need to purchase a license. Where can you quickly get a license? Buy it at the Park office, purchase it online (www.georgiawildlife.com/licenses-permits-passes) or buy it by phone at 1-800-366-2661.
Funding to supply the participating Parks and Historic Sites with the equipment is provided by the Sport Fish Restoration Program. This program allows funds accumulated from a federal excise tax on fishing equipment and related items to be directed to activities that benefit recreational anglers. A portion of these funds is provided to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources based on several factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses.
With 25 State Parks and Historic Sites active in the program, there is sure to be an area close to you. More info at www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/TackleLoaner .