GRAFTON, Ill. — Have you ever wanted to learn how to fish for free? Want to make sure your kids learn how to catch a fish?
Mark your calendar for Saturday, Oct. 2 and check out the 32nd annual Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair. It’s free, and all equipment needed will be provided.
"We want to get kids to get hooked on fishing, and the Family Fishing Fair helps connect kids and families to fun outdoor activities," said Scott Isringhausen, Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) urban fishing coordinator.
The annual fishing fair runs from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Pere Marquette State Park, near Grafton on Illinois Route 100, and it’s a day filled with fun and educational activities for the entire family.
Kids can drop a line in the catch-and-release bluegill pond and then have their photograph taken with their catch. There’s the popular One-Cast station, where everyone wins a prize, and bow fishing stations where children can shoot at moving targets in a pool or at a 3D target.
Every child who completes at least seven stations will receive a prize and has the chance to catch a trout in the Pere Marquette trout pond.
A 3,000-gallon mobile aquarium will be featured this year, stocked with many of the fish species found in the Illinois River.
Fishing seminars will be presented throughout the day, featuring Billy Hurt providing a variety of fishing information. Entertainment will be provided by "Camo the Clown" and the Lodge Brothers band.
Food will be available for purchase.
And Fredbird will make an appearance!
"Thanks to our generous sponsors, we are able to continue to offer this free event,” said Isringhausen. “We are very fortunate to have the support of the Phillips 66 Wood River Refinery as a Premier Sponsor, along with Farm and Home Supply, the Jersey County Board, Walmart, State Farm Insurance of Jerseyville and Carrollton, and many others."
The event is hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge (administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and Pere Marquette State Park (administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources).
Parking is free.
Again, no fishing gear or fishing license is needed to participate.
All participants in the event will be required to observe current guidance from the CDC and Illinois Department of Public Health regarding use of face masks and social distancing.
For more information, contact Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge at 618-883-2524 or Pere Marquette State Park at 618-786-3323 ext. 1. Click here for more information.