By James L. Cummins

Special to The Messenger


National Fishing and Boating Week is June 6 through June 14, 2020, which is the perfect time to celebrate Mississippi’s bountiful fisheries and other aquatic resources, as well as relax.

A few reminders if you plan on fishing or boating. Check both state and local town/city regulations. Keep a 6-foot social distance between yourself and others. Do not touch public surfaces, such as benches or water fountains. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after fishing and after touching any public surfaces. Stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms of COVID-19.

Let’s look at a few quotes regarding fishing...

President Herbert Hoover once said, “To go fishing is the chance to wash one’s soul with pure air, with the rush of the brook, or with the shimmer of sun on blue water. It brings meekness and inspiration from the decency of nature, charity toward tackle-makers, patience toward fish, a mockery of profits and egos, a quieting of hate, a rejoicing that you do not have to decide a darned thing until next week. And it is discipline in the equality of men–for all men are equal before fish.”



And President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “The problems of juvenile delinquency decrease in direct proportion to the opportunities of our young people to enjoy outlets for their energies in sports...I have observed the resourcefulness and stability of young who have had an opportunity to learn how to take care of themselves...as fishermen.”  Sometimes I wonder if many of the problems of our young people could not be solved by introducing them to activities that are wholesome and result in a greater appreciation of the world around them, not become hostile to it. And there is no better time than the present to introduce them to fishing.    

Mississippi is blessed with farm ponds, reservoirs, oxbow lakes, rivers, and streams. We are also the beneficiaries of good fisheries management by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the USDA Forest Service. 

Participation in fishing and boating week events actually helps fund efforts to conserve our natural waterways. A portion of all fishing tackle and license sales fund the conservation of our nation’s waterways through a program called the Sport Fish Restoration Program.

During National Fishing and Boating Week, I encourage you to carry your son, daughter, niece, nephew, or other young person fishing. The values it will instill will last a lifetime. And there is no better way to celebrate National Fishing and Boating Week while you still can!

And finally, another quote from President Herbert Hoover, “Fishing is much more than fish. It is the great occasion when we may return to the fine simplicity of our forefathers.”



James L. Cummins is executive director of Wildlife Mississippi, a non-profit, conservation organization founded to conserve, restore, and enhance fish, wildlife, and plant resources throughout Mississippi. Their web site is www.wildlifemiss.org.