EPCAMR is pleased to announce our involvement with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission’s Fishing Tackle Loaner Program (FTLP). The public can come to our Office at 101 S. Main Street, Ashley, PA 18706 during normal work hours to borrow rods, reels, and stocked tackle boxes. Call the Office at (570) 371-3523. This equipment is borrowed in the same way books are borrowed from the library. Those wanting to borrow equipment must complete a Loan Agreement with EPCAMR to receive the loan. At the end of the loan period, the equipment must be returned to EPCAMR in the same condition it was loaned out. It is expected that routine maintenance will be taken care of by the borrower, such as changing or adding line to reels and removing knots. Borrowers are then asked to complete a Fishing Tackle Borrower Survey upon return of the equipment. Most loans are for a day or weekend, but occasionally, an organization may be conducting a fishing program that would require a more extensive loan period.
What are some of the benefits of the Fishing Tackle Loaner Program?
The FTLP provides individuals, groups, and families with fishing equipment without requiring them to purchase gear. This is ideal for a family or individual wanting to give fishing a try before spending money on equipment. The program may also provide gear for those visiting a site they already fish, but didn’t bring their own gear because they weren’t planning on fishing. Groups conducting angler education programs in the community may borrow equipment as well. The program provides organizations an opportunity to partner with other sports, recreation, and civic groups, the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, and EPCAMR.
How does my organization sponsor or establish a loaner site?
Organizations can complete the loaner site registration form online at the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website (www.fishandboat.com). The completed form is reviewed by the Commission. If your site is approved, you will receive a shipment of rods, tackle boxes, and educational supplies.
What are the requirements of the site?
There are no specific requirements for a site to be considered and established. However, parks, nature centers, libraries, and community centers are ideal places to house a loaner site. Close proximity to a fishing spot or knowledge of one, willing partners, and some storage space are all that are required and a commitment to expand the sport of fishing by introducing it to many first-time anglers and children. EPCAMR, as a regional partner with many community groups, Conservation Districts, environmental education organizations, and watershed groups will:
- make equipment loans
- provide you with a copy of the most recent Summary of Fishing Regulations and Laws for PA
- ensure return of equipment
- store equipment and materials
- maintain equipment
- maintain inventory of equipment and materials
- submit reports, survey forms, and other paperwork to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
- promote the site at the local and regional level on our website, events, workshops, Conferences, and FaceBook page
- identify other partners willing to maintain equipment on a regular basis
- order additional material and equipment as needed from the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission
Are there any financial consequences if the equipment is not returned or damaged beyond repair?
By signing the Loan Agreement with EPCAMR, the person borrowing the equipment agrees to be responsible for all equipment loaned to them and to return the equipment on the specified date. The signature of that person commits him/her to pay a $15.00 fee to replace each rod, reel, and tackle box, should they not be returned or if they are damaged beyond repair. The check must be made payable to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. In addition, the borrower agrees to ensure safe, ethical conduct while fishing and will obey the Pennsylvania Fishing Laws and Regulations. You must be 18 years or older to sign for the equipment.
The Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission will:
- provide equipment
- provide assistance in getting the site organized
- provide promotional assistance
- provide educational materials
- assist in identifying potential funding sources
- provide Fishing Skills Instructor training for partners and sites
- ship additional materials, supplies, and equipment, when requested by partners
This program is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission, the American Sportfishing Association, and EPCAMR. The program is designed to make it easy for anyone to access fishing tackle. Whether you are giving fishing a try for the first time, or returning to a childhood activity, you can receive a tackle loan. EPCAMR is a regional site that has been approved to provide tackle loans due to its long history of outreach, education, and partnerships with the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. EPCAMR hopes the borrowers of the equipment will enjoy fishing so much that they are “hooked for life.” This equipment may also be loaned to groups conducting angler education programs, such as the S.M.A.R.T. Angler Program and others conducted by local fishing groups, bass fishing groups, conservation clubs, Trout Unlimited Chapters, and trout associations.
For additional information about the program, contact Robert Hughes, EPCAMR Executive Director, at (570) 371-3523, or visit the PA Fish & Boat Commission’s Fishing Tackle Loaner Program website. Their contact number is (717) 705-7800.