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Free Fishing Weekend Returns Statewide June 12-13

 A young angler tries her luck in Wine Cellar Park lake in Dunbar, West Virginia.
Eric Douglas
A young angler tries her luck in Wine Cellar Park lake in Dunbar, West Virginia.

West Virginia’s Free Fishing Weekend is back this Saturday, June 12 and Sunday, June 13. Residents and nonresidents are able to fish in West Virginia for free.

In preparation for the weekend, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources has been stocking catchable-size channel catfish in 59 lakes around the state.

Last year, to encourage more outdoor activities, West Virginia expanded the state's free fishing opportunities, holding dates for free fishing in March, and extending the promotion through nearly all of April and May, along with an additional Free Fishing Weekend in June.

“Each summer, more and more people of all ages are getting out, enjoying the world-class fishing we have to offer, and taking in the magnificent outdoors that we are blessed with in West Virginia,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “As someone who’s been a fisherman my whole life and knows the kind of joy and memories fishing can provide, I couldn’t be prouder of this great event, and that’s why we’re always looking for ways to introduce more West Virginians to this wonderful pastime.”

As a result, hunting and fishing license sales went up by nearly 40 percent for the month of June 2020 compared to the same month the previous year.

More information about fishing in West Virginia is available online at wvdnr.gov and can also be found in the 2021 Fishing Regulations brochure, which is available online and at authorized Fishing License Agents.

After this weekend, anglers must have a valid fishing license to fish in West Virginia. To purchase a new license or to renew an existing license, visit wvfish.com.

Copyright 2021 West Virginia Public Broadcasting

Eric is a native of Kanawha County and graduated from Marshall University with a degree in Journalism. He has written for newspapers and magazines throughout his career. After completing the certificate program with the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, he began producing documentaries includingRussia: Coming of Age,For Cheap LobsterandWest Virginia Voices of War.