TAYLOR COUNTY—As a child, many may recall loading up their tackle boxes and heading to the nearest river, creek or pond to drop their bobber in the water with friends and family, for a fun day of fishing.
As a way to encourage more people to take to the waterways in one of West Virginia’s favorite past times, the state has been celebrating National Fishing and Boating Week with a Free Fishing Weekend.
This annual program gives residents and nonresidents a chance to fish in West Virginia for free.
According to the Department of National Resources (DNR), although a license is not required to fish this weekend, all other fishing rules still need to be followed. These rules can be found in the DNR’s fishing regulations, either online or in their booklet.
“West Virginia has miles and miles of pristine waters,” said Gov. Jim Justice. “We need to get everyone into the outdoors, young and old, to enjoy and experience the unmatched beauty of our state’s streams and lakes, while participating in an activity, fishing, that’s just plain out fun.”
This year, the license free fishing weekend will be held on Saturday, June 8 through Sunday, June 9, across the state.
“This is the perfect time to take your son, daughter or grandchild to your favorite fishing spot and get them hooked on fishing,” commented Mark Scott, assistant chief in charge of fisheries for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources.
He went on to say that the free fishing days provide a perfect opportunity to get away from the TV, computer screen or handheld device and enjoy the outdoors.
“In today’s world, there are so many things going on,” Scott said. “Everybody is busy. There’s no better way to relax than to get out and do a little fishing.”
During the weekend, throughout Almost Heaven, folks will be headed to area lakes to take part in various fishing derbies.
If you’re looking for a derby to attend, look no further, because the Tygart Lake State Park Foundation will be hosting their very own fishing derby on Saturday, June 9, from 9:00 a.m. until noon.
Stonewood Police Officer Casey will be on hand to help the kids fish, along with other experienced adult anglers.
According to organizers, prizes will be awarded for the best catches in each age group.
During the event, there will be fun activities for the area’s youth to enjoy, including face painting and entertainment by Jayce, Julie and Suzy.
Hotdogs and drinks will also be served to this year’s participants.
To round out the day, members from the Tygart Lake USACE will be on hand to teach children some kayak safety.
Organizers shared that without the help of their sponsors including Leer Mine, The PATCH Coalition of Taylor County, HardCore Hunters, Save the Tygart Watershed and The Cove Run Club, this day would not be made possible.