West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is June 10-11. During these two days, residents and nonresidents may fish in West Virginia for free.
Each year, this annual event gives novice and returning anglers the opportunity to try their luck and fish without buying a license. West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which is June 3-11.
“It is a great opportunity to remind people of the fun of fishing, especially with family and friends,” said Division of Natural Resources Director Stephen McDaniel. “If you already have a license, take someone fishing — it may be your children, spouse or co-worker — and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment.”
DNR participates in several activities during National Fishing and Boating Week and Free Fishing Weekend. One of the largest events is the Bowden Fishing Derby on June 10 at the Bowden Hatchery in Randolph County. Another long-running event takes place June 10 at Little Beaver State Park near Beckley. These events give children an opportunity to receive basic fishing instruction and to enjoy time fishing with friends and family. The events are free to attend, but registration is required.
The week before Free Fishing Weekend, DNR stocked catchable-size channel catfish in lakes at Babcock, Blackwater, Cacapon, Cedar Creek, Chief Logan, Little Beaver, Moncove, Pipestem, Tomlinson Run and Watoga state parks, and at Berwind and Pettigrew lakes.
“For many years, West Virginia has been proud to sponsor Free Fishing Weekend to encourage people, especially children, to learn a fun outdoor activity that they can enjoy the rest of their lives,” said Bret Preston, assistant chief of the Wildlife Resources Section. “It’s a good way to reconnect with family and nature and to de-stress from life’s challenges.”
More information about fishing in West Virginia is available at www.wvdnr.gov and may be found in the 2017 Fishing Regulations brochure available at license agents and online at www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Fishing_regs.shtm.
About National Fishing and Boating Week
National Fishing and Boating Week began as a promotional activity sponsored by the sport fishing industry, encouraging fishing around Father’s Day. The recreational boating industry partnered with its sport fishing counterparts to develop a fishing and boating educational campaign.
From those beginnings, National Fishing and Boating Week has evolved into a very effective private/public partnership. The sport fishing and boating industries, fishing organizations and local, state and federal agencies work together to promote the message that fishing is fun and that healthy aquatic ecosystems are important. More information is available at www.takemefishing.org.