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DNR Hopes to ‘Reel’ Kids In for Free Fishing Weekend

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POLK CITY, Iowa -- The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is offering license-free fishing from June 3rd-5th.

Free fishing weekend is the first weekend in June each year.  It allows Iowans an opportunity to try fishing without purchasing a license.  All other regulations remain in place.

The purpose of the event is to get Iowans that wouldn’t normally fish, involved.

”It seems like once you get a kid outside, whether it’s actual fishing or playing with worms or throwing rocks. Whatever they are doing to explore for different insects or things, it’s pretty easy to get ‘em hooked on it once they are outside,” said Ben Dodd, Fisheries Management with Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

DNR staff will be at popular fishing spots across the state to help beginner anglers get started. They will assist with setting up fishing poles and distribute small kits with basic tackle for pan fishing along with tips and a few fun items.

Dodd said that one of the biggest difficulties the department has is enticing kids to leave the house.

”They can be active. They can learn patience by waiting on a fish to bite on their lures or bait. It gets them outside, typically they start exercising. They learn an appreciation for the environment. It’s just an all-around good activity for kids and families,” said Dodd.

The cost of a license is $19 for any person 16-years-old and up.

More information about Iowa's fishing regulations is available at the DNR's website.

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