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Families across the state pack their bait for a weekend of free fishing

Chippewa Valley (WQOW) — The DNR is holding its annual Free Fishing Weekend on Saturday and Sunday.

In Chippewa Falls, families gathered at Erickson Park, while dozens of others took a trip out to the Lake Hallie Boat Landing. There, the Hallie Optimist Club provided fishing poles and bait for anyone who went out to enjoy a morning along and on the water.

Free Fishing Weekend allows everyone and anyone, especially kids, to cast a line, whether you have a fishing license or not.

“When you see the expression on their face when they catch a little fish, even if it’s only two or three inches long, we’re just so happy for these kids that we really enjoy what we do here,” said John Van Beek, member of the Hallie Optimist Club.

Also at the event was Chippewa County Conservation Warden Kevin Christorf, who gave an update on the choppy start to fishing season.

“The fishing really slowed down once we got all that snow because of all the pressure on the ice and the lack of oxygen, but once spring rolled around and the flow started from the runoff, then the fishing picked up significantly,” said Christorf.

Christorf said that Wisconsin’s economy relies heavily on fishing and all that goes with it, which is why it’s so important to introduce the activity to children, because they are our future of the state.

Carly Swisher

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