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Contact: Kristin Gibbs, Supervisory Park Ranger, (570) 426-2430
Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area Superintendent John J. Donahue announces two free fishing programs at Hidden Lake on Sunday, May 24. A Kid's Fishing Clinic and Casting Contest will take place in the morning, and a Fish-for-Free Fishing Contest and Citizen Science Program will take place in the afternoon.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has designated Sunday, May 24, as a Fish-for-Free day, so Pennsylvania residents and non-residents alike can fish without a license on this day. "These two events are an excellent way to introduce youth to the sport of fishing and a perfect opportunity for families to enjoy fishing together," says Superintendent Donahue. More specific information about each event is below.
Kid's Fishing Clinic and Casting Contest
The National Park Service, PA Fish and Boat Commission, and Trout Unlimited will offer a free Kid's Fishing Clinic and Casting Contest for youth between the ages of 5 and 15 from 9 am to noon at the Hidden Lake Picnic Area. Registration for the event will take place from 8:30 to 9 am. All participants must be accompanied by an adult. This event enables young people to learn basic angling skills, safety, and ethics. In addition, youth can participate in a casting contest to win fishing-related prizes.
Fishing equipment will be provided for use during the casting contest, but children who have their own fishing pole are encouraged to bring it. Following the clinic and casting contest families may wish to participate in the Free Fishing Contest and Citizen Science Program later in the afternoon.
Fish-for-Free Fishing Contest and Citizen Science at Hidden Lake
Anglers of all ages are encouraged to participate in a free fishing contest on Sunday, May 24, from 2 pm to 6 pm at Hidden Lake. Fish caught during the contest will be tested as part of a study of mercury contamination being conducted by the National Park Service and United States Geological Survey in eastern national parks. No fishing license is required because this is a "Fish-for-Free" day in Pennsylvania.
Part of the goal of this program is to collect a number of largemouth bass, yellow perch, and bluegill or pumpkinseed sunfish in a range of sizes.A prize will be awarded to anyone who catches any of these fish for the study. In addition, special prizes will be awarded to the first person to provide any of these species of fish in certain size categories (small, medium, and large). The "PA Fishes Identification Guide" and other free handouts will be available with information about this study and fish and fishing at Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.
Pre-registration is required for the Fishing Contest and Citizen Science Program. Call Kristin Gibbs at (570) 426-2430 to sign up. The deadline for registration is Thursday, May 21.
Hidden Lake is located on Hidden Lake Road in Middle Smithfield Township on the Pennsylvania side of the park. For more information or directions, call park headquarters between the hours of 8 am and 4:30 pm at (570) 426-2452; visit our website at www.nps.gov/dewa; or follow us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/DelWaterGapNPS.