Ice fishing classes offered

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will host two ice fishing classes in the western Upper Peninsula during the 2013 Winter Free Fishing Weekend.  The Winter Free Fishing Weekend is 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 need to 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.

One ice fishing class will be held at Bass Lake in Gogebic County, north of Watersmeet, on February 16.  Another ice fishing class will be held at Runkle Lake in Iron County, east of Crystal Falls, on February 17.  Both classes will be held from 9 a.m- 3:30 p.m. CST.

Live bait will be supplied.  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.

The annual Winter Free Fishing Weekend, held in conjunction with President’s Day weekend, was initiated by the DNR in 1994.  It 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