The annual Exceptional Anglers event Gone Fishin', Not Just Wishin' at Oak Mountain State Park will take place May 11-13, 2016. The event teaches students with special needs from the Shelby and Jefferson county school systems the art of fishing. Media Day will be May 12, from 9-11 a.m. The fishing and festivities will take place behind the park’s main office.

During the event, students will be given the opportunity to fish, participate in art projects, perform with local musicians, listen to storytellers, and learn aspects of water safety including the proper use of life jackets.

“Community fishing events like this serve many of Alabama’s children, seniors, and disabled participants,” said Kasie McKee, Fisheries Biologist and Exceptional Anglers event coordinator for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “Without the hard work of our volunteers and the support of the sponsors, this event would not be possible. We are very grateful for their help in enriching the lives of these students.”

Volunteer and sponsorship opportunities are still available. For more details, contact Kasie McKee at 205-477-6301 or Kasie.McKee@dcnr.alabama.gov. To watch a video and learn more about Gone Fishin', Not Just Wishin', click here.

Gone Fishin’, Not Just Wishin’ sponsors include the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Alabama Power Company, Alabama Power Foundation, Alabama Power Service Organization, Alabama State Parks, Alabaster City Schools, Alagasco, Airport Marine, Bud's Best Cookies, City of Pelham, Coca-Cola, DMC Group, Evinrude Motors, Golden Flake, Hoar Program Management, Jefferson County Adapted Physical Education, Jefferson County Board of Education and Transportation,  Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Milo's Tea, Newcastle Construction, Oak Mountain State Park, Outdoor Friends Forever, Pelham City Schools, Pelham Police and Fire Department, Ranger Boats, Shelby County Board of Education, Suburban Propane, Triton Boats, The Ice Man and Yamaha Marine.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.  To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com .

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Jim Hardy from Outdoor Friends Forever assists a student reel in his catch. 
For the video, click here.