Family Fishing Days at Bismarck OWLS

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The North Dakota Game and Fish Department is hosting family fishing days this summer on Saturdays and Wednesdays at the Outdoor Wildlife Learning Site located adjacent to the department’s main office in Bismarck.

Jeff Long, education coordinator, said the first event is set for June 7, the opening day of the state’s annual free fishing weekend. “On June 7, adults will not need a license to participate,” Long said. “After that, normal licensing requirements apply.”

To kick off the event, hot dogs and refreshments will be served from 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. The first 100 kids ages 14 and younger will receive a gift. Fishing rods and basic tackle are available for use free of charge.

Continuing through August, fishing equipment can be checked out at the OWLS on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

“There will be adults in the area to answer questions and check out equipment, but there will be little or no direct supervision,” Long said. “If kids aren’t old enough to get to the pond on their own, they need to have an adult with them.”

The OWLS area is fairly primitive, with only a picnic shelter and benches upon entering the site. There are no restroom facilities, or running water. Users should bring water, sunscreen and the appropriate clothing.

The Game and Fish Department is seeking volunteer instructors to assist with the program. Individuals at least age 18 with an interest in teaching kids to fish should contact Long at 328-6322.

The OWLS pond is open to fishing year-round during daylight hours. There are no bait restrictions and anglers must practice catch-and-release only. The area is designed for wheel chair accessibility. Pets, glass bottles and alcohol are not permitted on the site.