Refuge to host free fishing derby

Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge will host its 51st-annual Kids Free Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 8.

The event is for kids ages 12 and under. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the first 150 kids to register the morning of the event will receive a free goodie bag and t-shirt. Lunch will be provided for participants and their families and a live fish shocking demonstration will be given during lunch. An awards ceremony will end the event at noon with prizes given in each age category for biggest, smallest and most fish caught.

This event is located at the Prairie Creek Recreation Area, 1½ miles west of John A. Logan College on the south side of Highway 13.

Illinois Free Fishing Days will take place from June 14 to 17, during the Father´s Day weekend. During this four-day celebration of fishing in Illinois, anglers can fish without purchasing a fishing license, salmon stamp or inland trout stamp. Also during this time period, Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge will not require entrance fees for anyone fishing on refuge waters.

For more information, call 618-998-5950, or email