The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host two ice fishing classes in the western Upper Peninsula during the 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend, February 16-17.

Parks and Recreation staff from Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and fisheries staff from the Crystal Falls Field Office will teach ice fishing tactics for all ages and skill levels (youth anglers must be accompanied by an adult). Participants will be provided with instruction on techniques and methods to use when fishing for species in the local area.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, an ice fishing class will be held at Bass Lake in Gogebic County (just north of Watersmeet); on Sunday, Feb. 17 a class will be held at Runkle Lake in Iron County (just east of Crystal Falls). Both classes will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Central Time.

Live bait will be supplied and equipment will be available on a limited basis. Participants who have ice fishing gear are encouraged to bring their favorite rod and/or tip-up along.

The annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, held in conjunction with President’s Day weekend, was initiated by the DNR in 1994 and allows Michigan residents and out-of-state visitors the opportunity to fish for free without a fishing license, however, all other fishing regulations must be followed.

For more information about participating in the Bass Lake and/or Runkle Lake events, please contact fisheries biologist Mark Mylchreest at 906-875-6622 or

Communities throughout the state are coordinating 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend events. For more information, including a listing of events, visit

Logo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources

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