FRANKFORT — The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources will celebrate Free Fishing Weekend June 3-4.
Free Fishing Weekend, an annual event since 1992, offers residents and non-residents the opportunity to fish Kentucky waters without a license or permit. Limits on the size and number of fish that anglers may keep still apply. Additionally, anglers may keep trout without possessing a trout permit during free fishing weekend.
With special events across the state planned for Saturday, June 3, most families can find fishing opportunities just a short drive away. A number of events are geared toward kids under the age of 16. Several include a free hot dog lunch, bait and loaner fishing equipment for anglers.
Families wanting the fun to last the entire weekend should consider a state park stay. Kentucky has a number of parks situated at prime fishing lakes. Find out more online at www.parks.ky.gov.
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources also stocks dozens of community lakes across the state as part of its Fishing in Neighborhoods (FINs) program. Most of these lakes received a stocking of channel catfish in May. To find the nearest lake, go online to www.fw.ky.gov then search under the keyword, “FINs.”
In addition to fishing derbies for kids, no fee permit will be required to use boat ramps outside of developed campgrounds at Cave Run Lake or Laurel River Lake on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4.
Following is a list of several of the fishing events planned for June 3 across the state. All times listed are local.
Anderson County: Anderson County Sheriff’s Department D.A.R.E. Fishing Derby, Hope Community Church Lake, 5930 U.S. 127 South, Lawrenceburg. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for kids ages 15 and under. There will be prizes and trophies for big fish. Families can fish with their kids from 11 a.m. until noon. Lunch will be provided. Anglers should bring their own bait and fishing equipment.
Bullitt County: Kids Fishing Derby, Jim Beam Distillery Lake, 526 Happy Hollow Road, Clermont. Fishing from 8 a.m. until noon. Bullitt County Rod Club will cook hotdogs and supply drinks.
Campbell County: Alexandria Community Park Fishing Derby, Alexandria Community Park Lake, Alexandria Drive. Fishing from 10 a.m. to noon for kids 14 and under. Free t-shirts and lunch while supplies last. Limited loaner poles available.
Clay County: Redbird Ranger District Kids’ Fishing Derby, Little Double Creek Pond, located behind office at 91 Peabody Road, Big Creek, Ky. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Registration begins at 8 a.m. For ages 15 and under. Food and prizes for participants. Call (606) 598-2192 for more information.
Daviess County: Take a Kid Fishing Day, Feather Landing Shelter, Panther Creek Park, 5160 Wayne Bridge Road, Owensboro. Registration opens at 8 a.m., with fishing from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration is $1, or $2 day of event. For ages 3 to 15. Prizes awarded. Hot dogs, chips and drinks provided. Limited loaner poles and bait available. Anglers should bring their own equipment and bait.
Franklin County: Family Fishing Day, Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ main campus, 1 Sportsman’s Lane, Frankfort. Tobacco-free campus, no smoking permitted. Lower lake will remain open during daylight hours for all anglers throughout the weekend. Upper lake next to main headquarters building will be closed to all fishing from daybreak until 5 p.m. Friday, June 2. From 5 p.m. until dusk, upper lake will be open to anglers under the age of 16. On Saturday, June 3, upper lake will be open from 8 a.m. to noon for anglers under the age of 16 only. The lake will reopen to all anglers after noon. Anglers should bring fishing equipment and bait.
Fulton County: Youth Fishing Rodeo at 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Hamby Pond, off KY 311 near Hickman. For ages 14 and under. Registration is $5 a child. Registration forms available at Hickman Courier, Farm Bureau, Hickman Police Department or Fulton County Clerk.
Hancock County: Get Hooked on Fishing, fundraiser for South Hancock County Elementary After School Program, Hancock County Game and Fish Club, 2580 Franklin Gaynor Road, Hawesville. Cost is $4 per person, includes lunch and t-shirts for youth participants. Fishing from 9 a.m. until noon. All ages. Prizes for registered participants ages 3 to 15. Bait provided, bring own equipment. Catch and release event.
Jackson County: Turkey Foot Campground, Daniel Boone National Forest, Forest Service Road 345, McKee. Registration begins at 8 a.m., with fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. For seniors over 60 and youth ages 5 to 15. Call (606) 864-4163 for more information.
Kenton County: Middleton-Mills Park Fishing Derby, 3415 Mills Rd., Covington. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. Fishing equipment and bait provided.
Lawrence County: Yatesville Lake State Park Marina, 2667 Pleasant Ridge Road, Louisa. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon for kids 17 and younger. Lunch and bait provided. Limited number of loaner fishing poles will be available. Anglers should bring own gear. Door prizes and prizes for most fish and biggest fish for various age groups. Register by calling (606) 686-2412, option 0.
Lincoln County: Cedar Creek Lake, Boone Road off U.S. 150. Follow signs posted at main ramp near dam. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for kids 15 and younger. Prizes for various categories. Limited number of poles and bait available. Anglers should bring own equipment. Hot dog lunch provided.
Madison County: Lake Reba Park, 299 Lake Reba Drive, Richmond. Fishing from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. for kids 16 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Lake Reba Boat Dock. All participants should be accompanied by an adult and bring their own fishing equipment and bait. Random prize drawings throughout the event. Special stocking of catfish prior to event.
McCreary County: Barren Fork Horse Camp, located behind Stearns Ranger Station on U.S. 27. Registration begins at 7 a.m. with fishing from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. For ages 5 to 15. Prizes and trophies for each age range. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Bring your own bait and tackle.
Menifee County: Indian Creek, Red River Gorge Geological Area, near the split of Forest Roads 9A and 9B. Look for signs. Registration from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., with fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. For ages 5 to 15, with prizes awarded. Adult must accompany children. Bring one pole per child. Call (606) 663-8100 for more information.
Montgomery County: Rick Smith’s Fishing in the Park, Easy Walker Park Lake, 1395 Osborne Road, Mt. Sterling. Fishing begins at 9 a.m. Registration begins at 8 a.m. There will be prizes in several categories for three age groups. Sandwiches, cookies and drinks available while supplies last.
Perry County: Hook and Hike Day, Buckhorn Lake State Resort Park, 4441 KY 1833, Buckhorn. Catch and release fishing tournament for kids 15 and under begins at 9 a.m. Anglers should bring own gear. Guided hike of Moonshine Holler Trail begins at 1:30 p.m. in front of lodge.
Rowan County: Cave Run Kids Fishing Derby, Minor Clark Fish Hatchery, 120 Fish Hatchery Road, Morehead. Fishing for kids 15 and under from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Registration begins at 6 a.m. Three hatchery ponds stocked with trout, bass and catfish will be open for fishing. Free food, games, displays and prizes. Goody bags and free t-shirt for each child. Prizes will include free trips to Camp Webb and Trooper Island and free boat rentals. Bait provided while supplies last. Anglers should bring fishing equipment, coolers and lawn chairs.
Russell County: Catch a Rainbow Kids Fishing Derby, Wolf Creek National Fish Hatchery, 50 Kendall Road, Jamestown. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Staggered fishing times for ages 5-15, starting with ages 5 to 6. Prizes awarded. Anglers should bring their own tackle. No fly rods permitted. Kids fishing pool for ages 1 to 4 from 9 a.m. to noon, with fishing rods provided. The hatchery is located 12 miles south of Jamestown off U.S. 127. Call the hatchery at (270) 343-3797 or go online to http://www.fws.gov/wolfcreek/ for more information.
Taylor County: Kids Outdoor Day, Green River Lake State Park, 179 Park Office Road, Campbellsville. Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free T-shirts for kids while supplies last. Events will include fishing, archery, BB gun shooting, nature hikes, trap shooting, boating, game calling and more. Lunch provided. Call (270) 465-8255 for more information.
Trigg County: Cadiz Kids Fishing Event, West Cadiz Park, located at the intersection of KY 39 and U.S. 68, Cadiz. Fishing from 9 a.m. to noon. For ages 3 to 15. Prizes include bicycles. Registration includes lunch for kids, T-shirt and a goody bag. Register at Cadiz City Hall or the John L. Street Library. Limited loaner equipment will be available, but anglers are encouraged to bring their own equipment and bait.