Chicago-- The words "urban" and "fishing" don't generally follow naturally one after the other.
But the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is once again this summer running its Urban Fishing Program.
The program at 20 sites around the state offers free fishing clinics to children ages 16 and younger.
Instructors teach students about aquatic life, about the rules and regulations for fishing, as well as basic instruction on baiting and casting.
Participants are given rods, reels, bait and tackle for 90 minutes of catch-and-release fishing.
Critics have said in previous years that money for the program is not well spent -- especially in tough budgetary times.
But officials have defended the program, saying it gives participants an appreciation for conservation and also fosters the use of state wildlife services.
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