Lakeland hosts youth fishing derby Saturday

The 14th Annual youth Fishing Derby, hosted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Valdosta Bassmasters Club, and the City of Lakeland, will be held on Saturday, June 7 from 7 a.m.-12 p.m.

Children ages 3-15 are invited to join the festivities starting at Flatlanders Lake, located off Highway 221 in downtown Lakeland.

Registration is from 7-7:30 a.m., fishing from 7:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.  First, second, and third places prices will be awarded for largest fish by weight to each age group.  Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge, off Highway 122 (2 miles west of Lakeland), is hosting family-friendly activities following the Derby from 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m.

Activities include knot tying demonstrations, “grunting” for worms, wildlife-themed arts and crafts, and live animal exhibits.  Remember to bring a t-shirt to decorate to show off with paint and fish and animal prints. Refreshments provided by Valdosta Bassmasters and a raffle with prizes donated by event supporters.  Raffles will begin at 10:30 a.m.

All activities will be in accordance with the National Fishing and Boating Week which is being celebrated June 1-8. During this week, the public can enjoy time spent boating and fishing during “Georgia Free Fishing Days” June 7 and June 14. During these two days, Georgia residents 16 years and older do not need a fishing license, although all other fishing regulations apply.

For more information about this event, please contact Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge at 912-496-7836 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday, or visit the refuge website at

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