Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs Expo Held in Elkins - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs Expo Held in Elkins

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ELKINS -

Randolph County has been hosting the Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs Expo for the last 20 years. It's a national program that started in 1986.

"It started as a national program when one child had a friend who succumbed to an overdose of drugs. He mentioned to his father and some other family members that he wished that boy was into fishing like he was, and then he wouldn't have been tempted to go down this path and have that happen to him," said Tom Oldham, committee member.

The expo offers hands on activities for the kids like virtual fishing, panning for gold, and actually fishing in a small pond.

"You can go out there and we let the kids fish for free. There's a little jig on the end of a line and we provide them with that. Many of the kids go away with the experience of catching a fish on the same day," said Oldham.

There are also games and giveaways during the expo.

"We have drawings, every kid that comes in gets a number and they're eligible for a drawing for a fishing pole, and a complete fishing kit," said Oldham.

Oldham said having fun while learning about drugs is what has families coming back every year.

"This has been going on so long that there are kids bringing their kids to it," Oldham said.

"It's fun and it teaches other people about drugs and teaches us about drugs," said Dylan Ford, a participant in the expo.

Oldham said the program not only teaches kids about drugs, but gives them confidence as well.

"The surety that you can catch a fish, and will catch a fish and they know what to do. It builds a lot of confidence in kids," Oldham said.

For more information on Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs visit the web site.