In my previous blog, I described the process of facilitating a community-engaged research project about Michigan women who fish for recreation. I used a method called photovoice that combines individual photography with group discussion and storytelling to highlight 15 participants’ unique perspectives. The project culminated in two major events: a photography exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw and a public presentation at a meeting of the Metro-West Steelheaders Association.
|April Tang presenting to the Metro-West Steelheaders Association in Livonia, Michigan, on June 4, 2019. Photo: Erin Burkett|
One of my findings is that, for these women, fishing isn’t about the fish. Well, almost. Catching a beautiful brook trout or their first northern pike was certainly memorable for these women, but fishing provides them with many other benefits and satisfying experiences. For some, connecting to water and nature and “getting away from it all” was important, and for others it is the empowerment and sense of accomplishment that fishing brings that drives them to fish.
|"Sleepy rivers soothe the soul" Photo: Cori Fitzpatrick|
|April Tang with her steelhead on a freezing day on the river. Photo: April Tang|