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Free Fishing & Park Entry Day – 2024

May 18

Visit a state park for Free Fishing and Park Entry Day on May 18th! Enjoy a Saturday of fishing or state park activities without the need to purchase a fishing or park entry permit for the day.

Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, held annually in Nebraska on the Saturday preceding Memorial Day weekend, means anyone can explore outdoor opportunities at any Nebraska state park, state recreation area or state historical park. Anglers must observe all fishing regulations. Camping, lodging and all other user fees still apply at state park areas. Entrance fees for museums at state historical parks and the entrance fee at the Schramm Education Center remain in effect.

Several family-friendly activities are scheduled in state park areas across the state to celebrate Free Fishing and Park Entry Day.

Lake Cunningham

Celebrate family, friends and fun at Fish Fest at the C from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lake Cunningham in Omaha.

This free event, co-hosted by Nebraska Game and Parks and the City of Omaha, is for anglers of all experience levels. Attendees can enter to win prizes. Food and refreshments will be provided while supplies last.

Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area

Lake No. 16 will host the Bob Bruner Memorial Fishing Derby from 9 a.m. to noon. There also will be food, other activities and prizes. Loaner fishing tackle, bait and instruction will be available.

Ponca State Park

Ponca will host the annual Bill Morris Fishing Derby for anglers of all ages. Prizes will be awarded to longest, Bluegill, Largemouth Bass, and Rainbow Trout; in three age categories. Age groups include: 6 and under, 7-12 year olds, and 13 and older. Bait can be purchased at the Resource and Education Center. Loaner fishing poles are also available upon request at the front desk.

View the rules and information for the derby HERE.

Fort Robinson State Park

Fort Rob will host its annual Fishing Derby for ages 12 & younger from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Grable Ponds (registration begins at 8:30 a.m.). Prizes awarded to participants at the lake. There will also be a BBQ from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. on the west lawn (cost: $11 per person). Park guests can also enjoy FREE horse-drawn historical tours and jeep rides (first come, first serve).

Schramm Park SRA 

Get into the Gardens—Learn and Explore! From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., explore the Pollinator Garden with Nebraska Master Gardeners and ask them about spring planting and more. Naturalists will have plant-related activities for kids. Meet in the birding area by Schramm Education Center.

Platte River State Park & Eugene T. Mahoney State Park

Beginner Fishing Program— Bait a hook, cast a line and catch a fish! Join our park naturalists and Youth Fishing Instructors anytime between 9 a.m. and noon to give fishing a try. Platte River SP location: Owen Landing; Mahoney location: Century Link Lake.

Wildcat Hills SRA

Take part in several great activities going on throughout this day-long celebration! Join us for a bird hike at 9 a.m., wildflower walk at 10 a.m., and Critter Corner at 11 a.m.!

Fort Kearny SRA
Come join the fun at Fort Kearny SRA from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where the Family Fishing Trailer and several Certified Youth Fishing Program Instructor Volunteers will be on hand. A limited number of poles are available to borrow, along with free bait!


May 18
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