Free Fishing Weekend June 7-8

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MADISON – Anglers can grab their friends and family and head out June 7-8 to cast a line into any of Wisconsin’s 15,000 lakes and 42,000 miles of rivers and streams fish without a license during Free Fishing Weekend.

The first Saturday and Sunday each June, residents and non-residents of all ages can fish without a fishing license or trout or salmon stamps as the state celebrates Free Fishing Weekend. All the waters of the state are open, including state waters of the Great Lakes and rivers bordering Wisconsin. All other regulations such as length and bag limits do apply.

“Free Fishing Weekend is an invitation for all anglers, whether new or seasoned, to gather friends and family and go fishing,” says Theresa Stabo, Department of Natural Resources aquatic education specialist. “It’s a chance to take a day or two to re-experience how much fun it is to fish.”

A variety of events will be taking place at state parks and other locations throughout Wisconsin, with activities for all ages, including fishing, picnic lunches, demonstrations, games and many hands-on learning opportunities for adults and children. A list of activities including fishing clinics is available on the Free Fishing Weekend page of the DNR Web site.

While rods and reels are usually provided at many of these fishing events, people can also borrow fishing equipment from one of DNR’s nearly 50 tackle loaner locations.

 Recently, Wisconsin teamed up with the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and 29 other states in a national campaign called “Take Me Fishing,” designed to get more people out onto the water and fishing.

“Take me fishing” complements Free Fishing Weekend, along with other angler education programs, fishing clinics, outdoor expos and other efforts the states and fishing clubs have long made to introduce new people to the sport.

“Free fishing weekend is an ideal to time to take someone fishing,” says Stabo. “It’s the perfect atmosphere to renew the fishing passion in an angler who hasn’t been out in awhile, or hook someone new onto a pastime that creates lifelong memories.”

2008 Free Fishing Weekend events

June 7

  • North Pond, Richland Center. Kids will fish for prizes and must be accompanied by an adult. Target age: 4-14. 8 a.m. – 11 a.m Sponsored by local business. Contact: Wayne Morgenthaler, (608) 647-2448.
  • Memorial Park, Oconomowoc. Just Fishin’ Kids Fishing Clinic introduction followed by four breakout sessions. Sessions include baiting a hook and general first aid/safety, knot-tying, casting, and making a soda can rod. Sessions will be followed by guided fishing time. 9–11 a.m.; Contact: Jennifer Froemming , (262) 569-2178.
  • Bone Lake, Milltown. East Balsam Baptist Lutheran Church Men’s’ Group. Target age: 20-70. 7:30-11:30 a.m.; Contact: Phil Foster , (715) 857-5304.
  • Blackhawk Camping Resort, Clear Lake, Milton. Sponsored by local newspapers and Jim Cheadle Camping Resort. Contact: (608) 868-2586.

June 7 and June 8

  • Village Marina, Egg Harbor, 7815 Dock Road. Family fishing day; kids will fish for prizes. FREE bait, rods, and local expert advice. Target age: 10-15. Sponsored by Harbor Master and Village of Egg Harbor. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday and noon– 4 p.m. Sunday; Contact: Charity Buhr , (920) 868-2048.

June 8

  • Council Grounds State Park, Merrill. Casting games, prize drawings, fishing assistance provided. Target age: 1-12. 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Sponsored by various sportsmens groups, local businesses and private donations. Contact: Sara Gossfeld-Benzing , (715) 536-8773.
  • Dorchester Recreation Park, Dorchester. Fishing, flower planting, worm digging, lunch provided. Target age: 3-12 12:30 p.m.; Contact: Cindy Steen , (715) 654-5118.
  • Big Foot Beach State Park, Lake Geneva. “Kids Day” fishing event. Prizes for all kids, free hot dogs, soda, chips. Target age: 3-15 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.; Contact: Anne Korman, (262) 248-2528.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FREE FISHING WEEKEND CONTACT: Theresa Stabo, Aquatic Resources Educator – (608) 266-2272