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March 28, 2011

Catch a Fish a Day for One Year: Keith Miller’s Challenge

On April 1, avid amateur angler Keith Miller of Waco will start a year-long commitment to catch at least one fish daily for 365 consecutive days. The goal is to build awareness of the importance of connecting young people to the outdoors and developing future stewards of natural resources. Miller will use social media to share his experiences, and he plans a series of public fishing dates to spread awareness in various cities.

“I’m concerned about a decline in youth participation in the outdoors over the past 10 years,” said Miller, who said he’s seen a corresponding decrease in young people’s knowledge, understanding and stewardship of natural resources.

“I’m surprised by the number of young people I encounter who know nothing of fishing, yet am encouraged when they ask me about the fishing photos in my office.”

Can Miller do it? He’s already done it once in 2009, achieving a previous personal goal to catch a fish every day in 2009, despite days at 11:45 p.m. when he was still fishing hard to make that one catch of the day.

“It was a tough journey, but it had many interesting, unexpected twists as well as positive outcomes,” said Miller, who considers 2009 one of his most productive years.

Now, two years later, he is again ready to take the challenge, but this time for a cause beyond his own sense of personal challenge and accomplishment. Miller’s challenge is also raising money for programs to connect youth to the outdoors through fishing.

Also, using new social media tools, Miller wants to engage youth with daily experiences outdoors through Facebook postings, blogs and Twitter. He plans to fish natural habitats in both fresh and salt water throughout Texas.

Think about it: a full time professional job, health issues, holidays, family commitments, the 24 hour clock, Mother Nature’s unpredictability, and the fickle nature of fish. All will complicate fulfilling the daily goal. Will he make it!?

Miller will showcase the start of his crusade to local news media at 9 a.m., Friday, April 1 on Barton Creek in Austin’s Zilker Park. The next day at 5 p.m., April 2, the public can join Miller at the North Fishing Pier at Inks Lake State Park near Burnet, when park visitors can borrow park fishing gear or bring their own, with bait provided.

Below are more examples of public events Miller will attend, though he plans others, and anyone can follow his exploits and see complete information on Miller’s Facebook page. Families inspired by his example can take part in any Go Fish! free events for children 5 and older. At these, folks learn fishing basics through fun, hands-on activities, with equipment and bait provided. See the complete Go Fish! events calendar online.

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