For many, the annual Free Fishing Weekend has become a tradition – a time to get together and have some ﬁshing fun. This weekend offers the opportunity for new ﬁshing enthusiasts to wet a line with friends and family. It’s also a perfect time for youth ﬁshing derbies. In Iron County, two derbies are scheduled for Saturday, June 7. The long-established Lake Ottawa Kids Fishing Derby participants will keep the Ottawa National Forest rangers busy logging in their catches. At Bewabic State Park the Youth Fishing Derby will be on Fortune Lake. Both offer prizes and ﬁshing tips for young anglers.
Lake Ottawa is located west of Iron River on Ot-tawa Lake Road off of M-73. The 23rd annual Kids Fishing Derby which is sponsored by the USDA Forest Service offers children ages 16 and under to test their ﬁshing, casting and racing skills. Registration will be from 7-8 a.m. at the day use building, with the ﬁshing derby beginning at 8 a.m. and other contests will be held throughout the morning. At 11 a.m. prizes will be awarded and lunch served in the day use building. Registration forms will be available the day of the event. All contestants must register with a parent or guard-ian.To be eligible, ﬁsh must be caught in Lake Ottawa, either from the ﬁshing pier or shore. Kids and parents must provide their own fishing equipment and bait.Prizes will be awarded for a variety of
ﬁsh caught and registered. There will be a casting contest, minnow races and a fish identification contest as well as the big ﬁsh contest.
Bewabic State Park is located on Fortune Lake between Iron River and Crystal Falls on US-2. During the Free Fishing Weekend youth can cast a line on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the Youth Fishing Derby. Michigan Department of Natural Resources Park Rangers will award prizes for largest
ﬁsh caught as well as for winner of the casting contest. The event is for young anglers up to age 15. Details will be available from the park rangers prior to the event.
Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend,
June 7-8, is a great time to take advantage of what Michigan has to offer angler. All ﬁshing license fees will be waived for two days. Residents and out-of-state visitors may ﬁshing for all species ofﬁsh. All regulations will still apply.
So grab a pole and your family, friends and youngsters, and go ﬁshin