West Virginia is hosting Free Fishing Days Saturday, June 9 and Sunday, June 9-10.

This is an annual program that gives residents and nonresidents a chance to fish for free in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources participates in several kid-friendly activities during Free Fishing Weekend, including the Bowden Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 9, at the Bowden Hatchery, just east of Elkins in Randolph County.

At this event, the DNR provides bait and loans fishing poles so people new to fishing “can experience the thrill of getting their first catch without having to buy equipment.”

Another long-running event also takes place the same day at Little Beaver State Park. These events are free, but participants need to register once they arrive.

“Free Fishing Days is a great opportunity for us to remind people why it’s so much fun to fish in West Virginia, especially with family and friends,” said WVDNR Director Stephen McDaniel. “And this event isn’t just for new anglers. If you already have a license, bring a couple friends or your entire family and introduce them to a lifetime of outdoor enjoyment.”

The week before Free Fishing Weekend, the DNR stocks catchable-size channel catfish in lakes at the following state parks:

  • Babcock
  • Berwind
  • Blackwater
  • Cacapon
  • Cedar Creek
  • Chief Logan
  • Little Beaver
  • Moncove
  • Pipestem
  • Tomlinson Run
  • Watoga

Free Fishing Weekend is part of National Fishing and Boating Week, observed June 2-10.

For more information about fishing in West Virginia, visit www.wvdnr.gov, or check out the 2018 Fishing Regulations brochure available at license agents and online at www.wvdnr.gov/Fishing/Fishing_regs.shtm.