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Spotlight: Fishing Has No Boundaries

It's almost spring and that means warmer weather, blooming flowers, and fishing season. Each spring fishermen and an increasing number of fisherwomen across the United States take to the rivers, lakes, ponds, bays, and oceans to engage in one of America's most popular outdoor activities. It is estimated that there are more than 52 million anglers in the U.S. Fishing teaches life lessons and has been shown to improve mental health.

One organization that ensures that even those with disabilities can participate in this enjoyable past-time is Fishing Has No Boundaries (FHNB). FHNB is a national non-profit organization designed to open the great outdoors to people with disabilities by providing them with recreational fishing opportunities. Since 2016, Sangamon County has been home to the Fishing Has No Boundaries Capital City Chapter. In September, the Capital City Chapter hosts an annual full day fishing event from boats on Lake Springfield for disabled participants and their caregivers. Participants do not need prior fishing experience. Each boat has a captain and a fishing guide to assist with all aspects of fishing. Fishing equipment is provided. Accessible fishing gear with special holders and electronic reels is available so no matter the disability everyone can participate. The day includes breakfast and lunch and culminates with a dinner and awards ceremony. This year’s event will take place on September 21, 2024.

On Saturday, May 4, 2024, the Capital City Chapter will be hosting a half-day land-based Youth Fishing Event at Southwind Park. The event allows youth with disabilities ages 6 and up with a caregiver to fish with a fishing buddy from shore or one of the park’s ADA-accessible fishing piers. Again, participants do not need to have prior fishing experience and equipment will be provided.

The goal of these events is to foster positive self-image, independence, and a feeling of accomplishment, as well as to provide an opportunity for camaraderie. Numerous volunteers are needed to put on the events. Volunteer activities range from staffing boats to serving food to preparing fishing poles and tackle boxes. Volunteer and participant forms are available on-line.

Sangamon County is full of giving, caring people. Fishing Has No Boundaries is just one example of the many ways in which citizens share their time and talents to make our community a better place. The FHNB Capital City Chapter’s events provide a great day out fishing for people who can’t easily access outdoor activities. Participants not only enjoy the day of fishing; they also make connections and friendships that last long after the fishing season.

For more information, visit or find the Fishing Has No Boundaries Capital City Chapter on Facebook.


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