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More than fishing, students learn ecology, anatomy and identification
with new IDNR course    
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[OCT. 1, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Students from Springfield's Ridgely Elementary School are the first participants in the new "Fish With IDNR" initiative created by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

"The Fish With IDNR program was developed so that students could learn about aquatic species and their habitats," said Joel Brunsvold, director of the Department of Natural Resources. "The DNR staff will be available during the course of the school year to help teachers with the curriculum and to help them with fishing opportunities in their area."

Fishing is just one facet of the program. This supplemental educational unit was developed by using the Illinois Learning Standards as its foundation and can be applied to grades K through 10. Students receive classroom instruction in aquatic ecology, fish anatomy, fish identification and fishing techniques. In addition, students develop an inquiry-based project for which they collect data during their fishing visit. Project completion and assessments occur in the classroom.

Educators receive a packet of aquatic resources information, including the department's "Aquatic Illinois" CD-ROM. Each item is accompanied by suggested uses and its correlation to the Illinois Learning Standards. Students are given materials to aid in their classroom and field studies.


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"The resource materials provided are just a small portion of those available for educators from the IDNR. These classroom-ready, standards-based items can easily be incorporated into any existing curriculum," said Jeff Vose, administrator of the IDNR Division of Education Administrator. "This curriculum is available to any teacher in the state."

"Fishing provides a lifelong sporting activity that everyone can enjoy," Brunsvold said. By participating in Fish With IDNR, we want our young people to experience fishing, learn about their environment and become good stewards of our natural resources."

For more information about the program, contact Jeff Vose at (217) 524-9505 or

[Illinois Department of Natural Resources
news release]

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