Open Standard Media Player version 1.3
DULUTH - One man is fishing for 24–hours straight in the hopes of reeling in a new world record.
"It’s not working out well but it's a good time,” said Dennis Salmela,
The fish may not be biting as much as Dennis Salmela was hoping for as he attempts to break a world record for most fish caught in 24–hours.
"The record is 2,591," he said.
But the record, not the main reason Salmela is dropping his line in the harbors of Lake Superior.
Salmela runs a non–profit outdoor education program for today's youth called "Fishing for Knowledge," combining classroom lessons they can use in the outdoors.
He said, "We'll come in, bring in some pros and a lot of good volunteers and actually take them out and let them apply the skills that they've learned in school."
Fishing for Knowledge is currently taught in seven school districts from Hinckley to Lake of the Woods.
Parents say fishing is a family tradition that can't be lost.
"Once they catch first fish and they feel that little tug on the other end, pretty soon they need to have the bait in their hand, the fish in their hand, then they know how to hook it up and they don't need bobbers. Anymore and their enthusiasm is launched. There's a career fisherman," said Dennis Holsman, of Hill City.
The world record attempt is also raising awareness of invasive species in the Great Lakes.
The round goby was accidentally introduced in the Great Lakes in the 1990s and has a significant economic and ecological impact.
"They can spawn up to six times per season and they can produce 5,200 eggs per spawning period. They can also feed on the eggs and larvae of our native fish," said Doug Jensen, Aquatic Invasive Species Program Coordinator for Sea Grant.
It's a long 24–hours for Dennis Salmela, but if more kids can get educated about fishing, he says all that lost sleep will be well worth it.
Salmela said, "It's really about trying to raise awareness of what's going on and possibly get a kid interested in the sport."