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Free Fishing Day at Crab Orchard Refuge

Friday, May 11

The event is for kids 12 and under but it is one of the more pleasant experiences of the year. Annual Free Fishing Days Kids Derby at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge in southern Illinois.  The event on June 9, 2018 is staffed and sponsored by local merchants, the US Fish & Wildlife Service, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and local volunteers from Take Pride in America and Friends of Crab Orchard Refuge.

The only expense to families in attendance is the cost of gasoline to get to Prairie Creek Recreation Area.  To get there exit Illinois Route 13 at Green Briar Road and go south to Campground Road.  Follow Campground Road 1 ½ miles west to the Prairie Creek Recreation Area.

Participants may bring their own tackle or use the rods and reels provided.  Bait is provided.

Worms are the most popular bait among the young set.  They catch almost any kind of fish.  Worms are not difficult to thread on a hook.  Adult assistance for fishing techniques and in baiting a hook is available if required.

The first 100 children to register at the site receive a free T-shirt.  Other awards are for the biggest fish, smallest fish and most fish in each of the age categories.  Fishing began at 8:00 A.M. and continues until noon when the participants are treated to a free lunch and the awards are announced.

The idea is for the youngsters to have a positive experience.  Then they will want to return.  They might even bring an adult with them.

For more information about this event, contact the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Visitor Center at Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge.  The telephone number is 618-997-3344.  The center is located at 8588 Route 148, Marion, Illinois 62959.

For more information on lodging accommodations as well as outdoor activities in Williamson County, or to receive a free color Fishing Guide, contact VisitSI at 1602 Sioux Drive, Marion, IL 62959.  Call 800-GEESE-99 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Current information is also available online at www.VisitSI.com.

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