Have you ever wanted to try fishing but haven’t had a chance to get out on the water? Maybe you have fond memories of fishing with friends or family members but haven’t cast a line in a few years but want to get back into this outdoor tradition. Well, there’s no better time than now because West Virginia’s Free Fishing Days are coming up on June 8-9!

Free Fishing Days is part of a national effort to encourage new anglers to get out and enjoy this outdoor tradition without having to first buy a license. It’s also a great time for anglers to take a friend or family member out and teach them how to fish.

If you’re looking for a place to go fishing, check out the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources online fishing map for a list of lakes and streams near you. You can also check a fishing derby or Free Fishing Days event around the state.


Family Fishing Fun at Bowden Hatchery and Little Beaver State Park

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources will host a fishing derby at the Bowden Hatchery in Elkins on Saturday, June 8. This annual event is family friendly and a great way to introduce your kids to fishing. DNR will provide the bait and poles if your kid doesn’t have one of their own, so all you need to do is show up and have fun.

Each angler will be permitted to take home two trout. A catch and release pond also will be available, and certificates will be handed out to kids who made a catch. Registration starts at 7:30 a.m. and there will be times designated for kids to fish, based on their school grade.

  • 8 – 9:15 a.m. Pre-School and Kindergarten
  • 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. 1st and 2nd Grade
  • 11 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 3rd, 4th and 5th Grade
  • 12:15 – 1:30 p.m. 6th, 7th and 8th Grade
  • 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Catch and Release Pond Fishing Hours

To download a registration form or to learn more about the fishing derby, click here.

There also will be a fishing derby at Little Beaver State Park. West Virginia’s state parks and forests are a great place to enjoy Free Fishing Days, so plan a trip to your favorite park or cast a line at one you’ve never visited before.

And make sure you remember the occasion by sharing your fishing adventures with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by tagging your photos #wvfish.

If you haven’t renewed your license in a couple of years, we encourage you to take this time to get out on the water. In no time, you’ll remember why fishing is so much fun in West Virginia! And if you want to renew your license, head on over to www.wvfish.com.