20th Anniversary Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park

Chris McCloud
Januari Smith
20th Anniversary Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park
GRAFTON, IL � Learn to fish, become a better angler or just have some fun at the free Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park on Sat., June 11, conducted as part of the Illinois Free Fishing Days and National Fishing and Boating Week.

The 20th anniversary of the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair will feature fishing fun and educational activities for the entire family from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on June 11.  Pere Marquette State Park is located on Illinois Route 100 in Grafton, Illinois.  The event is hosted by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge (administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service).

The Family Fishing Fair features fishing and information stations with a variety of fishing and educational themes related to fishing and outdoor recreation � with an emphasis on activities for youth and families.  Those attending can learn fishing basics such as knot tying, fish identification, fish cleaning, casting and many other skills.   Every child completing activities at as few as seven information stations will receive a prize and have the chance to catch a trout at the event�s Trout Pond.

Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair information stations include:

� Bluegill Pond, where the children will have the opportunity to catch a fish and have their picture taken at the �First Fish Photo Station�;
� Virtual Reality Fishing;
� Lil� Angler Tub for young children to catch a jumping bass;
� One-Cast station where everyone wins a prize;
� Bow fishing stations, where children can shoot in a pool and at a 3D target.  

New information stations at this year�s Family Fishing Fair include:

� Good Fishermen Station, hosted by Girl Scout Troop #907, teaching �good fishermen� rules; 
� The Nature Institute�s �Fish Jeopardy� station, answering fishing related questions;
� Sierra Club�s �Recycled Fish Mobile Station� teaching how to make a koi fish mobile from old newspapers. 

Wayne Schell, bluegrass musician and storyteller, will provide musical entertainment at lunch in the main tent.  Popular nature entertainer �Camo the Clown� will provide families with an entertaining take on conservation education.   St. Louis Cardinals� mascot Fredbird will be appearing at the Family Fishing Fair at 1 p.m.

Also at the Family Fishing Fair is the giant 4,000-gallon Fish Tub mobile aquarium stocked with sport fish found in the Illinois River, with seminars presented by professional anglers throughout the day.  The event also features retriever dog and noodling demonstrations.

An anniversary ceremony will be held at 12 noon at the aquarium featuring IDNR officials and U.S. Fish and Wildlife area supervisor Kevin Foerster to honor those who participated and assisted in helping establish the Two Rivers Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park 20 years ago.

There is no charge to attend the Fishing Fair or to catch a fish. No license or fishing gear is needed. Food and refreshments will be available. 

Illinois Free Fishing Days are held in observance of National Fishing and Boating Week. Anyone wanting to try fishing can do so without a state fishing license from June 10-13, 2011 in Illinois.  National Fishing and Boating Week gives millions of Americans the opportunity to celebrate the joys of fishing and outdoor recreation.

The Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair is made possible thanks to generous sponsor support from Conoco Phillips of Wood River and Cabela�s of St. Charles.

For more information on the event, contact Pere Marquette State Park at 618-786-3323 ext. 1 or the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge at 618-883-2524.
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