Big Oaks NWR will host "Take a Kid Fishing Day" from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday (July 13).

The purpose of this event is to promote youth recreational fishing and public use on the refuge.

Kids 15 years old or younger and an accompanying adult(s) may access the refuge for this free fishing opportunity.

Activity booths include a kids casting contest, make your own cane pole, hover archery, and learn about reptiles and amphibians. These activities close at 1:30 p.m.

A limited number of free fishing packets will be available for the kids; so come early to get your packet while they last. There will be a free raffle for kids. Free refreshments including hot dogs, chips, soda, and cookies will be available from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Volunteers will be on hand to assist the kids and teach them about fishing. A limited number of fishing poles and bait for beginners will be available for those who do not have fishing equipment.

Families are encouraged to come out and enjoy a day of fishing on the refuge.

The event is co-sponsored by the Big Oaks Conservation Society (BOCS) and local merchants.

The BOCS is a non-profit friends group, which consists of volunteers from local communities that support the refuge.

Visitors will be required to watch the 20 minute refuge safety video and abide by refuge access procedures (first, check in at the refuge office).

All state and refuge fishing regulations will apply for this free fishing day (state fishing licenses are waived for this event).

Approximate drive time to the lake from the refuge office is 30 minutes; check-in to the office no later than 1:30 p.m. on the day of the event (the earlier the better!).

Contact the refuge office at 812-273-0783 for further information.

About Big Oaks

Big Oaks NWR consists of 50,000 acres on the former Jefferson Proving Ground (JPG) located in Jennings, Ripley, and Jefferson counties in southeastern Indiana. The local refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and provides public use opportunities, such as hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, photography, interpretation and environmental education. The refuge has one of the largest contiguous forest blocks in the southeastern part of the state as well as one of the largest grassland complexes; both provide wonderful wildlife viewing opportunities for refuge visitors. Information about the refuge is available at the website: www.fws.gov/refuge/big_oaks/.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people.

The Service manages the 150-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System, which encompasses over 550 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. The agency enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts.

– Information provided