MADISON – People of all ages can fish free in Wisconsin on June 5 and 6, the state’s Free Fishing Weekend.
More than two dozen free fishing clinics statewide during that weekend – and free loaner equipment available from 50 state parks and offices will help make it even easier for people to take advantage of this opportunity, state aquatic education officials say.
“We want everybody to give fishing a try, and Free Fishing Weekend’s a great time to do it,” says Theresa Stabo, DNR’s aquatic education coordinator.
“Every day is free fishing day for kids 15 and under, so it’s nice for their parents, friends and older teenagers to take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend to fish for the first time, or return to it.”
All waters of the state are open, including Wisconsin waters of Lake Michigan, Lake Superior and rivers bordering Wisconsin. Residents and nonresidents of all ages can fish without a fishing license (or trout or salmon stamps) over these two days. However, all other fishing regulations apply, including how many fish anglers can keep and limits on the minimum size of fish they can keep.
More than two dozen fishing clinics offered
Free fishing clinics – some aimed at kids and some intended for the whole family – are set for more than two dozen locations across the state. Some of the clinics are sponsored by Wisconsin State Parks, but most are put on by local fishing and conservation clubs.
“We’re really excited that there are more clinics than usual, and that some of them are targeted at families,” says Rachel Piacenza, DNR aquatic education associate. “If you're an adult new to fishing, don't feel embarrassed to attend an event! This weekend is really about introducing people of all ages to fishing. If you’re an avid angler, consider taking an adult who has never fished before. Share your passion with someone else; you're sure to remember that smile when the first fish is reeled in.”
Fishing rods and reels available for loan from 50 DNR locations
Many of the fishing clinics provide all the equipment people need to fish. But people who cannot or do not want to attend a clinic can borrow fishing equipment from dozens of DNR state parks and offices. Call ahead to the listed contact people to make sure equipment is available, and to arrange to pick the equipment up as DNR service centers are open limited hours.