CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – Free Fishing Weekend is returning to the Mountain State this weekend! That means its also time for the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources’ annual kids fishing derby.

According to West Virginia Governor Jim Justice’s office, Free Fishing Weekend is set to take place Saturday, June 10 and Sunday, June 11. Throughout the weekend, a fishing license will not be required, and both West Virginia residents and nonresidents will be able to fish for free in the state’s public lakes, streams and rivers.

“As a lifelong angler, I know firsthand that fishing in West Virginia is one of the most joyous things you can do in this world,” Justice said. “I want to encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to try fishing out or to introduce someone you know to the sport we all love so much.”

The governor’s office says Free Fishing Weekend is part of a national effort to make fishing more accessible to the public and give those new to fishing a chance to try out the sport before purchasing a license. The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and Justice’s office say its also a chance for those who’ve let their license expire get back into fishing.

“Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a beginner, our Free Fishing Weekend is a great time to cast a line and have some fun,” WVDNR Director Brett McMillion said. “We hope this event will encourage people to try fishing for the first time or to rekindle their love for the sport.”

Along with Free Fishing Weekend, the WVDNR will be hosting its annual kids fishing derby at Little Beaver State Park in Raleigh County on June 10. WVDNR officials say the derby offers a chance for kids to learn the basics of fishing while enjoying time outdoors with friends and family.

According to the WVDNR, the kids fishing derby is free to attend, and registration for the event will take place on-site from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Saturday.

To learn more about Free Fishing Days visit the WVDNR website, or to purchase or renew a fishing license for the rest of the year, visit the WVDNR’s online licensing and game check system webpage.