FRANKFORT, KY (5/21/12) – Kentucky's Free Fishing Weekend, which began more than 30 years ago, offers youngsters and families an opportunity to try fishing at no cost on June 2-3.
All anglers, both youngsters and adults, may fish without a license those two days. However, all anglers must still observe minimum size limits and creel limits.
At several locations around the state, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife has partnered with sportsmen's clubs, parks departments or other government agencies to provide a variety of fishing events and activities for new anglers.
"Beginners can try out fishing and get some hands-on instruction at the free fishing events that weekend," said Marc Johnson, aquatic education administrator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. "Many of the events on department-owned waters will be hosted by fisheries and law enforcement division employees."
Most Kentucky State Resort Parks have fishing poles and tackle that is free for guests to use.
The larger of the two fishing lakes at the campus of Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters in Frankfort will receive a special stocking of fish for this event. The department's upper lake will receive up to 1,200 channel catfish weighing 1 to 10 pounds, and approximately 20 largemouth bass weighing between 2 to 4 pounds.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife headquarters is located off U.S.60, approximately 1 miles west of Frankfort.
The large upper lake will be closed to all fishing Friday, June 1. However, the lake will reopen to youth anglers under the age of 16 from 5 to 8 p.m. that day. The lake will open to youth anglers only from 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday, June 2. After 11 a.m., the lake will be open to all anglers. The smaller fishing lake, located closest to U.S. 60, will remain open to all anglers during daylight hours.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife employees will be roaming the banks to provide advice and assistance to anglers. "We will have limited fishing equipment to loan on Saturday morning," added Johnson. "We suggest anglers bring rods and reels, if they have them. Anglers should also bring bait. We recommend redworms and wax worms."
Anglers squeamish about baiting hooks with worms can instead use cheese, corn, small pieces of hot dogs and balls of compressed bread to catch catfish.
Several organizations around the state are sponsoring fishing events this weekend. They include (local times listed):
* Barren County: Barren River State Resort Park, June 2, youth fishing derby for kids ages 15 and under, beginning at 9 a.m. Fishing poles and bait provided.
* Henderson County: Audubon State Park, June 3, fly tying and casting instruction by the Ohio Valley Fly Rod Fishing Club, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park, Shelter house 1, June 2, fishing event, 9 a.m. to noon.
* Pulaski County: Goodwater Pond, Daniel Boone National Forest, June 2, fishing event, 8:30 a.m. to noon, Open to youth ages 5 to 15, and seniors over the age of 60.
* Russell County: Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, June 2, Annual Catch a Rainbow Kids Fishing Derby, for kids up to age 15, beginning at 9 a.m. Prizes awarded. Fishing poles furnished for kids under 5 years old. For more information, visit www.catcharainbow.org online, or call (270) 343-3797.
* Rowan County: Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery near Cave Run Lake, June 2, kids fishing derby, 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Fishing allowed in two hatchery ponds for kids up to age 15. Ponds stocked with trout, catfish and bass. Some bait provided. Kids must be accompanied by an adult. Prizes and goodie bags provided to participants. Displays will include bomb sniffing dogs, command vehicles, law enforcement equipment and demonstrations.
* Jefferson County: Tom Wallace Lake in Jefferson Memorial Forest, June 2, kids fishing derby, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
* McCracken County: Bob Noble Park Lake, June 2, kids fishing event, beginning at 9 a.m. For children ages 6 to 12. Limited to first 100 to sign up. Register online at www.paducahky.gov, stop by the parks office at 1400 H.C. Mathis Drive, or call (270) 444-8508.
Information provided by Seth Stewart
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