Free fishing equals family fun in Marathon County - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Free fishing equals family fun in Marathon County

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MARATHON COUNTY (WAOW) -- No fishing license? No problem.

This was a weekend for outdoors enthusiasts to cast their lines free of charge.

Wisconsin's DNR held their annual Free Fun Weekend.

Hearing "no charge" at the entrance to state parks was music to the ears of people who love the outdoors.

Every year, the DNR lets people enjoy the outdoors without reaching into their wallets.

"You still have to follow the regulations, but you don't need a license and the kids can fish here for free," said Wausau's Nick Krause, a member of the Elks Lodge.

The Wausau Elks took advantage at Rookery View Park in Rib Mountain.

"We're running a kids' fishing derby and the goal is to give kids an alternative to using drugs," Krause said. "Get hooked on fishing, not drugs."

Krause says they picked the date strategically.

"A lot of people say that the only time they come fishing is during this weekend because if they only go out once or twice, they don't want to spend the money to buy a license," he said.

"I like it," said Angela Wunsch of Wausau. "I can actually relax. I don't have to worry about getting caught!"

But even on this weekend, there were rules to follow.

"The wardens are still out," said Krause. "They're going around checking to make sure that you're not keeping illegal fish or you're not keeping too many."

Families say they had no problem playing by the rules.

"This is a perfect opportunity for those who haven't had the chance to take advantage of all the scenery and facilities that are here," said Sherrie Pelusi of Birnamwood.

"Lake Wausau's right here, with the Wisconsin River and I don't think a lot of people realize what we have here until they actually come down and use it," Krause said.

This was the first year the DNR expanded the free fun to include both Saturday and Sunday.
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