Friday, January 30, 2009

Michigan's Winter Free Fishing Weekend Scheduled for Feb. 14-15

ice anglers
(photo from MI DNR)
a news release of the Michigan DNR

The Department of Natural Resources invites everyone who is curious about ice fishing to take advantage of Winter Free Fishing Weekend, Feb. 14-15. The annual celebration of Michigan's ice fishing heritage allows everyone to fish without purchasing a license.

"Free Fishing Weekend gives families a chance to experience Michigan's winter wonderland while enjoying an outdoor activity that every family member can participate in," said DNR Fisheries Chief Kelley Smith.

The Winter Free Fishing Weekend, now in its 10th year, is modeled on the state's annual Free Fishing Weekend held every year in June. Because of winter ice on most of the state's lakes, anglers have access to areas that they could never reach without a boat during wet-water months.

Numerous ice fishing clinics, contests and festivals are held in conjunction with the weekend, including DNR-sponsored events at state parks and fish hatcheries. Most offer instruction on the basics of ice fishing, loaner fishing equipment and a quick program on ice safety. Programs are free, but participants at state park events require the purchase of a $6 daily or $24 annual 2009 Michigan State Park Motor Vehicle Permit.

In addition, numerous fishing clubs and service organizations sponsor events, many of them at little or no cost to participants. In many cases, equipment and bait are available at the events.

"Ice fishing is a fun and interesting way to introduce children to the sport of fishing," Smith said. "It's an opportunity for folks to experience the excitement of fishing without the added expense of a fishing license."

See Free Fishing Weekend
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