Free fishing weekend June 2-4

Iowa residents may fish without a license on June 2, 3 and 4 as part of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) free fishing weekend.

“Free fishing weekend is a great opportunity for Iowans to reconnect with fishing,” said Joe Larscheid, chief of the Iowa DNR’s Fisheries Bureau. “Invite a kid, your best friend or your mom to come along. Have some fun and create new memories.”

Gather your family or friends and travel to one of the hundreds of Iowa lakes, thousands of miles of rivers or a nearby pond for a few hours of outdoor fun and relaxation.

Iowans can try fishing without buying a license during free fishing weekend.  All other regulations remain in place.

“This is a great time to take kids fishing or introduce someone new to fishing,” Larscheid said. “Fish are usually close to shore and are willing to bite.  Use small tackle – little hooks, a bobber no larger than a quarter, 4-pound test line and small bait to catch bluegills.

“Kids will stay interested and have fun when the fishing is good. Just let them play once the interest in fishing is gone,” he said.  “It isn’t about how many fish you can catch; it’s about sharing your time and having fun together.”

Fun, hands-on fishing events will be offered across Iowa to teach parents or kids the basics of fishing. A list of fishing clinics, derbies, and other fun events co-sponsored by the DNR is available on the Special Events Application System at programs.iowadnr.gov/specialevents/.

“We hope free fishing weekend will inspire anglers to buy an annual fishing license,” Larscheid said. This investment allows the Iowa DNR Fisheries Bureau to produce and stock more than 160 million fish annually, conduct research studies to manage fish more effectively, construct fish habitat, improve water quality, restore lakes with a history of poor fishing and improve access for anglers.

Find tips for taking kids fishing and catching crappie, bluegills and yellow bass on the DNR website at www.iowadnr.gov/Fishing/Fishing-Tips-How-Tos.

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