DNR News

Spartanburg man honored as Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor of the YearDecember 15, 2016

Paul McKee of Spartanburg was honored Dec. 14 as the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ Certified Fishing Instructor of the Year.

Paul McKee (right) receives the award as Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor of the Year from Ross Self, SCDNR chief of freshwater fisheries.

Paul McKee (right) receives the award as Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor of the Year from Ross Self, SCDNR chief of freshwater fisheries.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) trains freshwater anglers each year to become Certified DNR Fishing Instructors for the Aquatic Education Section. These instructors teach the Family Fishing Clinics. Family Fishing Clinics introduce the basics of freshwater fishing to young and old anglers. Participants learn how to tie fishing knots, rig rods, cast, fish and more.

The Fourth Annual Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructor Banquet was held Dec. 14 at the S.C. Department of Agriculture’s Phillip Market Center in West Columbia to thank the instructors for their hard work and dedication. Since the inception of the volunteer program in October 2011, 106 volunteers have been trained. In 2016, volunteers provided 35 Family Fishing Clinics, reaching 535 participants with 1,122 hours of volunteer time.

Paul McKee of Spartanburg was trained Jan. 21, 2012. “Not only has he dedicated considerable volunteer efforts to Scouts, but also by his work with Trout Unlimited,” said Sarah Chabaane, SCDNR Aquatic Education coordinator. “He is an avid angler, often traveling throughout the state in pursuit of his passion. Paul is incredibly knowledgeable and a genuinely fun asset to the SCDNR fishing volunteer group.”

McKee conducted six family fishing clinics as well as volunteering extensively with Scout groups and Youth Fishing Rodeos. He has logged 103 volunteer hours. Chabaane said: “Congratulations to Paul, and thank you again to all volunteers!”

If you are interested in becoming a Certified DNR Fishing Instructor, visit this website to learn about upcoming trainings: www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/instructor.

The intention of the Family Fishing Clinics is to introduce participants with little or no angling experience or those who need a refresher to the basics of fishing to increase their future participation in the sport. Participants will learn how and where to fish and have someone to fish with to become confident anglers.

by Greg Lucas
Upstate - Office of Media and Outreach

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