Participants continue to fish (Post-Season Feedback)

The ultimate long-term outcome of your learn-to-fish program is to create an independent, long-term angler who is in the “continuation without support” stage in the Outdoor Recreation Adopting Model. It likely will take several years before you can determine if this outcome became a reality.

Because you have invested considerable resources in each participant, we recommend that you stay in contact with them and periodically check with them to see if they are continuing to be involved in angling.

We recommend that follow-up surveys be sent to each participant at six months and again at 2 years to ascertain what activities they are involved in, and if there is anything you and your partners can assist with. See the Incorporating “participant feedback” and measuring success section for additional details on long-term evaluations.   

Another, more informal assessment is to contact their mentors/guides to see if they have kept in touch with their mentee and if the mentee has participated in any follow-up activities.

Monitoring the program’s Facebook page or other social media mechanisms may also reveal clues as to who is remaining active and who may have dropped out.

Tracking participant license purchases

Tracking license purchases is the best means we have to measure a person’s angling behavior. It is not a precise measure, but it is the best tool we currently have.

However, to accomplish this task in real time, the state agency's electronic licensing systems have to be designed to be able to track individual license purchases.  The National Hunting & Shooting Sports Action Plan (Second Content Draft) has detailed suggestions regarding upgrading electronic licensing systems.

See the Incorporating “participant feedback” and measuring success section for additional details on tracking license purchases.

Tracking other indicators

While producing a long-term license purchaser is the ultimate long-term outcome, there are numerous mid-term outcomes that will indicate if your participants are on track to reach this goal.

Earlier, we recommended that your program provide participants with “next step” options that they can participate in to improve their skills and increase the knowledge. Their participation in these events is a good indicator that they are still interested in fishing.  Tracking their participation in these next steps will require assigning a unique identification number to each participant, AND having the sponsors of the next step events use that number to register their participants. In addition, a data-sharing agreement will need to be in place so that they can share that information with you.

Participants in next steps activities need to be monitored in their own right, because in some instances, participants can become co-dependent on “events” to facilitate their fishing activity. Repeated attendance at events may be an indicator that some of the participants' needs may not have been fully met and they lack the confidence to participant independently. Repeated attendance at events also may be an indicator that they lack social support; the event has become their social support network. We recommend that program managers be alert for these two potential situations, and develop strategies to build confidence and/or improve the needed social support.

Other evaluation considerations

Over time, as your program builds success and becomes known for its high quality instruction, you will likely attract additional partners.

Retail partners can play an important role in you program monitoring. Understandably, they may be leery of untested or unproven programs. However, they are very interested in investing in programs that can make a difference in their business. Creating long-term anglers is good for their business and they know it. Creating program “affinity” cards with local retailers that are willing to track participant purchases and share that information is an additional powerful tool to measure program success.

Creating these cards may require effort and an up-front investment. However, they may reveal impacts that cannot be directly measured by other means. Having these cards will require a strong partnership where clear goals and objectives are in place and understood by all.

Resources

www.fishingtipsdepot.com/

Welcome to Fishing Tips Depot, the largest collection of fishing tips on the internet. Our goal is to help anglers catch bigger fish, more frequently, by providing the best tips for fishing. You’ll see below that our tips are divided up into sections to make it easier to find the type of fishing tips that’s best for you. They are divided up by fish species and fishing type, making a total of 23 different sections to help you catch more fish. While our team researched and tested the best tips to publish a lot of these tips are submitted by fishermen just like yourself.

Post-Season Survey Template - Hunting - from Responsive Management

These surveys were developed as part of the Locavore program to assess program participants thoughts about your program after they have had a season in the field using their new skills and hopefully caught a few fish. The results of such a survey would be used to refine your program for future participants. They could also be used to develop support programs for past graduates if needed.

Places to Fish and Boat

Use this map to help you find great fishing and boating spots in your area and throughout the U.S. Find bait shops and outfitters nearby where you can buy gear and equipment, boat ramps, license vendors, marinas and more. Go boating and fishing today.

Wisconsin Fish Identification

This fish identification tool was developed by the University of Wisconsin Center for Limnology, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute.

Carry 174 Wisconsin fish in your pocket! Download the mobile app and you can identify Wisconsin fish wherever you go, no internet connection required.