A state wide free fishing weekend is around the corner, and with it comes a special annual event from a local youth service organization. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has announced that the weekend of June 8th and 9th will be Free Fishing Weekend. All fishing license fees will be waived to allow residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fully explore and cast their lines on Michigan’s inland and Great Lakes waters. All fishing regulations still apply. Additionally, recreation passports will not be required for entry to state parks and recreation areas, like normal.

During the weekend, several organizations across the state are holding special events, like the Brighton Optimist Club, locally. That Saturday marks the return of their annual Kids Fishing Derby at the Brighton Millpond. Registration is free and begins at 7:30am, with the first 150 kids receiving a t-shirt. The derby runs from 8am to11. Children should bring their own fishing gear and bucket, but the Optimist Club does have a limited number of loaner poles available on a first-come first-serve basis. Bait will be provided. There will be prizes and awards following the derby, along with a visit from the Howell Nature Center Bus, complete with a hands-on wildlife program. (Photo: www.brightonoptimist.org) (MK)