VOL: 17th Annual Kids Fishing Day at 16 Mills Fleet Farm (MFF) locations – July 7th

Once again, Minnesota Sea Grant is coordinating Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers! (SAH!) outreach for the 17th Annual Kids Fishing Day at 16 Mills Fleet Farm (MFF) locations around the state — our tenth year participating in the event. We’d like to thank all those who helped out with previous years and welcome those being contacted for the first time. We appreciate being invited back by Mills Fleet Farm as the only outside group helping support youth education through their event.

We would like to invite you to co-host a SAH! booth at an MFF location near you on Saturday, July 7th, 2018. The event is free and open to the public from 11AM until 3PM.

Our purpose is to educate youth and adult visitors about the threats posed by aquatic invasive species and how to help Stop Aquatic Hitchhikers!.

Please confirm your availability for hosting by visiting the MFF Spreadsheet (https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/11BZ95aBy6T5J1A3E0fnliee3WTL61OtnqKwsagsp9UM/edit?usp=sharing). We would like to have two people at each location.

Please enter your name and the organization for which you work and mark an MFF city location. Be sure to include your email and cell phone number in case we need to reach you. We would like to have our staffing schedule set by Wednesday, June 24th, giving us time to make arrangements with store managers and provide them with the names of SAH! co-hosts for their stores.

We plan to have booths at all 16 MFF locations in MN: Alexandria, Blaine, Brainerd/Baxter, Brooklyn Park, Cambridge, Carver, Fergus Falls, Hermantown, Lakeville, Mankato, Monticello, Oakdale, Owatonna, Rochester, St. Cloud/Waite Park, and Winona.

The event will run similar to last year with publications waiting for you at the booths. If you have lawn banners and preserved specimens, please bring them to the event. As you may recall, we provided lawn banners and preserved specimens last year, and we welcomed you to use these materials at other events, provided you returned them to the Mills Fleet Farm. If you have a lawn banner and preserved specimens but are not able to attend the MFF event this year, please bring them to the Mills Fleet Farm store that you were at in 2017. Please feel free to borrow the lawn banner and preserved specimens again this year if you can use them at other events, and plan to return them in 2018.

We are excited to be back at Kids’ Fishing Day for another year. Along with teaching kids basic fishing and water safety skills, nearly 1,400 youth and adults were taught last year about the threats posed by AIS and how to take individual action at boat accesses to prevent their spread. Over 8,400 pieces of outreach materials were distributed. Feedback received was extremely positive from MFF, co-hosts, and visitors alike. By giving your time, expertise, and effort, you made the event a great success.

Please feel free to pass this information along to anyone else you think might be interested in contributing to this outreach. We hope you will consider co-hosting a SAH! booth at a store in your community. If you have any questions feel free to contact Kendra (Lende016@umn.edu).