Free Fishing Weekend Coming Up June 7-8

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Kentucky Afield Outdoors:

Frankfort, Ky. – With gas prices at record highs and grocery costs climbing, anything free is a true gift. During the weekend of June 7-8, anglers across the state can fish free on any public waters in Kentucky. No fishing license or trout permit is required these two days as part of the annual Free Fishing Weekend.

Several fishing events geared toward kids are being offered around the state to commemorate Free Fishing Weekend.

For those who live in the central Kentucky and Louisville area, the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will host a fishing derby for kids under the age of 16 from 5 -8 p.m. June 6 and from 7-10 a.m. June 7. The derby is being held at the two lakes at Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Headquarters, located west of Frankfort off U.S. 60 west. Kids age 15 and younger never need a fishing license or trout permit.

Headquarters lakes will close to all fishing June 4, then reopen for all anglers at 10 a.m. June 7. The two lakes will receive a special stocking of 1,400 catfish and 1,400 bluegill for the event.

Marc Johnson, aquatic education coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, said prizes will be awarded by random drawing throughout the derby. “We do that so kids learning to fish that day have the same chance at a prize as a kid who has fished with his or her grandfather for years,” Johnson said. “We try to make sure everyone walks away with something.”

The event is free, but participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment and preferred baits or lures. A limited amount of fishing equipment and bait will be provided for those who need it.

A number of law enforcement agencies will also be showcasing safety at the fishing derby. “There will be emergency vehicles and fire trucks and police cars,” Johnson explained. “They will provide information to parents about how kids can be safe in our modern world. Topics such as Internet safety and gun safety will be covered.”

One of the largest fishing and outdoor events for kids will be held from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern time June 7 at Green River Lake State Park. Organizer Jim Evans expects 1,500 kids and 2,000 adults to attend the free event. In addition to fishing, kids can sample archery, shooting sports, canoeing and kayaking. Country singer Marshall Law will perform and attendees will receive free hot dogs and hamburgers. Thanks to donations and sponsorships, organizers expect to give away nearly $12,000 worth of door prizes.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will also host its annual Catch a Rainbow Fishing Derby on June 7 at the Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, located off U.S.127 just below Lake Cumberland’s Wolf Creek Dam. The free event is for kids 15 and under. Youth anglers will also receive hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy and soft drinks.

Smokey the Bear will be on hand as well as students from Pulaski Southwestern High School’s Raptor Recovery Program showing live raptors.

Registration for the free fishing derby begins at 8 a.m. Central time. Participants must bring their own fishing tackle. Go online to for more information.

Other fishing events for kids scheduled for Saturday, June 7 include the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Carp Fishing Derby at Rough River Lake from 9 a.m. – noon, and the Kids Free Fishing Weekend Derby at Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery near Morehead from 7:30 – 10:30 a.m.

These are just a few of the fishing events going on around the state during Free Fishing Weekend. Sponsors can publicize their local fishing events by registering them on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at, then typing in the keywords, “fishing events.” This is also the best way for anglers to find fishing events nearest to them.