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Two people cast a line into a river

Junior Ranger Angler

Junior Ranger Angler program at New River Gorge National Park & Preserve
NPS Photo


Get hooked on recreational opportunities in national parks.

Inspired by the thrill of catching your first fish, the Junior Angler program encourages kids to enjoy the vast recreational opportunities of our national parks. Today, nearly 200 parks allow recreational fishing, presenting a great opportunity for the National Park Service to educate and engage the next generation of fishing enthusiasts.

Since the 1960’s, the Junior Ranger program has inspired children and their families to explore the great outdoors. As the most recent Junior Ranger program, Junior Ranger Angler encourages young people to earn their Junior Ranger patch and certificate by participating in a series of fishing activities in a national park and then sharing their experience with a park ranger.

Canoes lined up on a beach
By the Numbers
  • 4,500
    Junior Ranger Anglers
    In 2021, NPF helped 4,577 kids earn their junior ranger badges at national parks across the country.
  • 30
    Participating Sites
    Launched in 2019, the program now supports in-park fishing clinics at over 30 parks and is growing nationwide.

Program Highlights

A pile of Junior Ranger Angler badges
Fishing in America's Front Yard

To bring accessible fishing opportunities and environmental education to local families, National Mall & Memorial Parks in Washington, D.C. held two family fishing events, with one day of instruction specifically designed to engage with the local deaf community. The park hired a fishing guide, American Sign Language interpreters, and provided fishing rigs for families.

A young visitor smiles at the camera, he holds a fishing rod and wears a life vest
Engaging Communities at the Pond's Edge

This project allows Cuyahoga Valley National Park to deliver a robust, 15-week summer fishing program series that engages local children and their families in shore fishing in park ponds. The park is integrating fishing into all aspects of community programming. including programs for the general public, family programs for BIPOC communities, and programs offered for community-based organizations.

Palm trees set against a bright blue ocean
Peskadot Junior Ranger Angler

This project at War in the Pacific National Historical Park conducts traditional fishing clinics and family fishing derbies for local villagers promoting safe and sustainable fishing practices, community engagement, and stewardship of natural and cultural resources. The three day program culminates in a Family Rod and Reel Fishing Derby.

Green meadows leading to a snowy mountain landscape
Engaging Local & Native Youth

Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve utilizes Junior Ranger Angler day camp programs to educate and engage the next generation of fishing enthusiasts as well as build and strengthen relationships between local communities and the park. The park works with local tribal councils and schools to recruit youth to the day camps, which includes elders sharing information about traditional skills.

Program Updates


Thank You
This program was made possible by generous support from the Pisces Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Al Baldwin, and the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan.