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Free Fishing Weekend to be celebrated Feb. 15-16 with events scheduled across Michigan

Contact: Elyse Walter, 517-284-5839 or 269-845-2227 or Ed Golder, 517-284-5815
Agency: Natural Resources

Feb. 10, 2014

On Saturday, Feb. 15, and Sunday, Feb. 16, everyone in Michigan - including residents and non-residents - can fish without a license, though all other fishing regulations still apply.

These two days make up the Winter Free Fishing Weekend - an annual effort to promote Michigan's world-class fishing opportunities. While many individuals and families will bundle up and head out to fish for free on their own, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is pleased to point out there are numerous organized events scheduled throughout the state to celebrate the weekend as well. Some of these events include:

  • Waterways Ice Festival at Mullett Lake Marina (Cheboygan County) Feb. 15, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
    This event features an ice-fishing contest and several other activities to provide families with an opportunity to enjoy/try ice fishing at little or no cost. There is an entry fee of $7.50 per person or $15 per family. All proceeds go to selected organized youth groups in Cheboygan County.

  • Ice Fishing Derby at Bath Community Center (Clinton County) Feb. 15, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    This event will award anglers who catch the longest fish. There is an entry fee for adults of $10; kids under the age of 18 are free.

  • Annual Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Ice Fishing Contest at VFW Post 9084 (Gogebic County)
    Feb. 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST)

    This event features inside and outside fun for all ages. There is an entry fee, $5 for adults and $3 for kids ages 3 to 12.

  • Rec 101: Intro to Ice Fishing at Bald Mountain State Recreation Area (Oakland County) Feb. 16, 1 to 30 p.m.
    This event will include ice-fishing instruction and demonstration, and maybe a little intro to fly fishing as well. Instructors will explain all the gear needed, how to drill a hole in the ice, safety procedures and where to find the best fish. Please note a Recreation Passport is required for entry.

  • Youth Ice Fishing 101 at Wolf Lake State Fish Hatchery (Van Buren County) Feb. 15, 10 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m.
    Participants will learn about basic ice-fishing techniques, safety, proper equipment and good fishing spots in southwest Michigan.

Please note all events are subject to weather conditions.

There are many other events scheduled in various locations throughout the state, including in the counties of Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Iosco, Keweenaw, Macomb, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Otsego, Roscommon, Saginaw, Tuscola, Washtenaw, Wayne and Wexford. Information about these events, including those listed above, can be found at

Michigan has celebrated the Winter Free Fishing Weekend annually since 1994. With more than 3,000 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and 11,000 inland lakes, Michigan and fishing are a natural match.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to

Copyright © 2015 State of Michigan