With fly fishing as catalyst, woman tackles youth and women’s programs in Pennsylvania
HARRISBURG, Pa. — A love of the outdoors was instilled at an early age for Amidea Daniel, who grew up fishing, hunting, camping and exploring the natural world around her. Ultimately, this passion led her to earn a degree in Outdoor Resource Management from Lock Haven University and then guided her to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, where she’s applied her skills since 2008 as an outreach and education specialist and Trout in the Classroom coordinator.
Her success in these roles, and the PFBC’s desire to focus more precisely on tailoring fishing programs toward youth and women, were the motivation behind the agency creating a new Youth and Women’s Program Coordinator position and tapping Daniel for the job.
The 37-year-old Mill Hall resident, who uses fly fishing as the catalyst to explore nature with her husband and two children, moved into her new role earlier this month. She says she’s excited about the opportunity and is already working on a few pilot initiatives for 2017, details of which will be released in the coming months.
“I enjoy connecting people to nature, whether it’s through educational programs like Trout in the Classroom, or through recreational programs like fishing,” she said. “It’s fun to see the excitement of kids when they release trout they’ve raised into local streams or the thrill when female anglers throw that first solid cast from their fly rod. We want to expand those opportunities through these tailored programs.”
PFBC Executive Director John Arway said Daniel is a great fit for the new position and is uniquely qualified to lead the initiative.
“As a PFBC instructor for family fishing programs and a private fly fishing guide, she knows firsthand what kids and customers want to gain from their experience,” he said. “She also launched the agency’s first women-only fly fishing program in 2012 with tremendous results. That has always been a popular but small program. We’re looking forward to her using that as a template to provide more women-only fishing opportunities.”
In her new role, Daniel will also be responsible for cultivating and managing the ideas that have emerged from the Female R3 work group that the PFBC formed in early 2016 and acting as a mentor to the Governor’s Youth Council for Hunting, Fishing and Conservation. She will also continue to coordinate the Trout in the Classroom program.