Kids Fishing Day returns to Escanaba this weekend

A youthful angler shows off a bluegill he caught at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Pocket Park, located on the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba. (Courtesy photo via The Escanaba Daily Press)

ESCANABA — The Kids Fishing Day team will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Annual Kids Fishing Day this weekend.

The day of fun, fishing and families will be held Saturday, June 10 at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Pocket Park, located on the Upper Peninsula State Fairgrounds in Escanaba.

Registration for Kids Fishing Day will be from noon to 1:30 p.m. and the event will run until 3 p.m. All activities are free of charge and open to youth ages 16 years old and younger. The first 300 participants will receive a goody bag.

After many years holding the event at Camp 7, the popular activity was moved to Escanaba in 2022.

“We are excited to hold the event for the second time at the Pocket Park,” said Gary Olson, longtime Kids Fishing Day team member and organizer. “It offers plenty of space for most all the traditional fun favorites at Kids Fishing Day events, plus some new activities; and the Pocket Park offers a beautiful natural-like setting right in the middle of Escanaba.”

Familiar activities returning include bluegill fishing, minnow races and face painting, along with free food and raffle prizes.

Greg Karch, certified angler instructor and founder of the non-profit organization Learn 2 Fish with Us, will be returning to the event this year to teach kids how to cast a fishing line and tie fishing knots.

Karch’s organization has educated more than 50,000 anglers in Wisconsin since 2006 and has hosted nearly 300 fishing workshops, including Kids Fishing Day at Camp 7 where he offered Backyard Bass for youngsters.

In addition, Smokey Bear will be wandering the grounds and the DNR will have an animal furs display (where youth can touch and learn about various animal coats), a scavenger hunt and opportunities for kids to learn how to shoot at the Pocket Park’s archery and pellet gun ranges.

This year’s Kids Fishing Day event will be held in conjunction with the DNR’s Free Fishing Weekend. Camping is available on the fairgrounds.

The DNR Pocket Park is located nearest Gate No. 1 at the fairgrounds, which can be accessed from 12th Avenue North.

Partners include the Bay de Noc Great Lakes Sports Fishermen, Inc., Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the USDA Forest Service.

For more information, or if you would like to volunteer to help at the event, contact Jo Ann at 906-786-2351.


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