Mississippi youngsters wanting to experience fishing have several opportunities to do that in a controlled setting at several events scheduled the next two weekends.

This Saturday (June 7), the annual Katfishin’ Kids will be held from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. at the Turcotte Education Center on Mississippi Highway 43 near Barnett Reservoir. Sponsored by the Mississippi Wildlife Federation, Mississippi Museum of Natural Science and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks, the event is free for children 15 and under. Lunch will be provided free following the event.

In addition to enjoying fishing in a pond stocked with keeper-sized channel catfish, children can learn more about the sport of fishing and conservation from many volunteer fishermen.

For more information, visit http://mswildlife.org/events/katfishin-kids.

On June 14, the MDWFP’s youth fishing rodeo program has three events scheduled:

Neshoba County Lake: Free to children 15 and under, this event near Philadelphia is sponsored by MDWFP and 4-H Sports Fishing and includes fishing in stocked ponds, food, tagged fish, games, educational booths, archery, and numerous other activities. Registration begins at 7 a.m. and youngsters are asked to bring their own fishing gear, catfish bait and stringers. Call Neshoba County Lake at (601) 656-7376 for more information.

Grenada Lake: Registration begins at 8 a.m. for this event, which is sponsored by MDWFP and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The stocked ponds are located at the north end of the Grenada Lake dam near Grenada. Children 15 and under can fish and are encouraged to bring their own poles, catfish bait and stringers. Cane poles are preferred since no casting will be allowed due to the limited space. For more information, call Sam Marter at (662) 226-5911.

Puskus Lake: The Lafayette County Law Enforcement Officers Association and the MDWFP will sponsor a rodeo beginning at 8 a.m. at Puskus Lake on the Holly Springs National Forest northeast of Oxford (take Mississippi Highway 30 to state road 2089 and follow signs). Ponds stocked with catfish await children ages 15 and under for the free event, and participants are encouraged to bring their own poles, catfish bait and stringers. For more information, call Bruce Jenkins at (662) 563-6221.

Camp Fish registration extendedChildren aged 11-15 can still apply for the two free Camp Fish events sponsored by the MDWFP. The registration period for the June 17-20 event at the North Mississippi Fish Hatchery at Enid Lake near Enid has been extended to June 12. Only 20 spots are available.

A second Camp Fish will be held at Johnson State Park south of Hattiesburg on July 21-24. Applications are being accepted through July 11 and only 20 spots are available.

“These camps are much more than children going fishing,” said MDWFP Fisheries Bureau Assistant Director, Larry Bull. “Classroom discussions and hands-on exercises led by MDWFP fisheries biologists and Mississippi Wildlife Federation volunteers will help students gain a better understanding of fish, fishing, and fisheries management.” 

Camp applications, which require a written essay, may be completed at www.mswildlife.org; paper applications can be obtained from the MWF by calling (601) 605-1790.   All applications will be ranked by quality and content of the essays. Participants who are selected for the camp will be notified by June 13. For more information about Camp Fish, contact Larry Bull at (601) 432-2200 or LarryB@mdwfp.state.ms.us.