Outdoors: Free Fishing Weekend Starts Today


Jill M. Rohrbach

If you have never fished before, this weekend is the time to give it a try. Free Fishing Days of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission begins today (Friday, June 10) and goes through midnight Sunday, June 12. No sport fisherman, resident or non-resident, will be required to have a fishing license or a trout permit to fish anywhere in Arkansas during this timeframe.

Free Fishing Days is an annual tradition offered by AGFC in an effort to encourage citizens and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy this popular outdoor activity. AGFC officials recommend that beginners stop at a sporting goods store, a boat dock, or a AGFC regional office for pointers on the basics of fishing.

It’s a great family outing. Kids under 16 don’t need a fishing license in Arkansas anytime. The free fishing weekend gives parents a great way to take their kids fishing without having to buy a license.

Free Fishing Days always offers open houses and fishing derbies for children at five Arkansas fish hatcheries. Derbies are held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 11. Youngsters 12 and under will be allowed to fish with the supervision of an adult. Children may catch and keep up to three catfish (or three trout at the Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery). The derbies will feature casting contests and prizes.

 Derbies will be at:

*Andrew Hulsey State Fish Hatchery, Hot Springs, 877-525-8606.

*Charlie Craig State Fish Hatchery, Centerton, 877-795-2470.

*William Donham State Fish Hatchery, Corning, 877-857-3876.

*Joe Hogan State Fish Hatchery, Lonoke, 877-676-6963.

*Jim Hinkle Spring River State Fish Hatchery, Mammoth Spring, 877-625-7521.


For more information on the derbies, phone the AGFC Fisheries Division office at 501-223-6371. For other fishing derbies around the state, click on Fishing Derbies.


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