Shirkey reminds residents of weekend of free outdoor fun

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey reminded residents on Tuesday of a great opportunity to take advantage some favorite summertime activities this weekend at no cost.

“Here in Branch, Hillsdale and Jackson counties — and across the state — we are blessed with an amazing number of beautiful areas to fish,” said Shirkey, R-Clarklake. “This Saturday and Sunday, June 8 and 9, is Michigan’s annual Summer Free Fishing Weekend, in which access to these spots is free. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this weekend.”

Shirkey said residents and nonresidents alike can fish without a license on these two days, though all other fishing regulations still apply. Entry into state public boating access sites, state parks and recreation areas is free of charge.

Since 1986, Michigan has celebrated the free weekend as a way to promote awareness of the state’s vast aquatic resources and to give families a great chance to pass along the joy of fishing to the next generation.

The Summer Free Fishing Weekend concludes the Michigan Boating Week, an annual celebration of the great outdoor activities offered by the state. It is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Michigan Waterways Commission and the Michigan Boating Industries Association.

The week-long event offers many opportunities to start boating, get back onboard or learn some new skills to use on the water. For more information, including a list of activities across the state, visit www.Michigan.gov/FreeFishing.

Shirkey said Saturday and Sunday also mark one of the summer’s free ORV weekends, a time off-road enthusiasts can ride Michigan DNR-designated routes and trails without an ORV license or trail permit. Riders can find out more at www.Michigan.gov/ORVInfo.

To encourage visitors to visit a state park during the weekend, the state is waiving the regular Recreation Passport entry fee that grants vehicle access to Michigan’s 103 state parks.