Free Fishing Weekend and Kid’s Fishing Derbies.


THIS WEEKEND marks the AGFC annual Free Fishing Weekend and the 2010 Kids Fishing Derby at Quarry Park below Norfork Dam.

FYI the Derby “usually” gets a supply of low water, so it could be good reason to hit Norfork on Saturday

 The Derby is run by The Friends of the Norfork National Fish Hatchery, Norfork National Fish Hatchery, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, North Arkansas Fly Fishers and Rod and Reel Club. Fishing will be open to children 15 and younger and will be divided into three age groups. A pool will be stocked for the youngest fishing group. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and fishing is set 9 a.m. to noon. Participation is free to children and adults. Food will be provided and children will win prizes, with the overall winners receiving a special prize. Fishing gear must be provided by participants, and adult supervision is required.

According to the AGFC press release:

LITTLE ROCK – Free Fishing Days of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission begins this weekend. Free Fishing Days will start at noon Friday, June 11, through midnight Sunday, June 13. 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 these times.

An annual tradition, Free Fishing Days furnishes many citizens and visitors with an opportunity to enjoy the popular outdoor activity. Free Fishing Days are part of the National Fishing Week celebration. Mark Oliver, chief of fisheries for the AGFC, said the annual event is a lot of fun for employees as well as the public. “We want to encourage Arkansas people as well as visitors who come to our state, who may not be fishermen, to give it a try. We especially encourage parents to go fishing with their kids. Young people under 16 don’t need a fishing license anyway, and if their moms and dads will go along, it can make a family outing that they’ll all enjoy,” Oliver explained.

How do you get into fishing? Oliver suggested that beginners make a stop at a sporting goods outlet, a boat dock or one of the AGFC regional offices for pointers on the basics of fishing in Arkansas. Open houses and fishing derbies for youngsters are planned at five state fish hatcheries in Arkansas June 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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.

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 AGFC Derbies will be held 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.
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