Bay City State Recreation Area Offering Winter Fishing in the Park Program Feb. 19

Bay City State Recreation Area will be offering a free “Winter Fishing in the Park” program on Saturday, Feb. 19, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a special opportunity for families to try ice fishing on the park’s Tobico Lagoon during Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend, where anyone can fish Michigan’s waters without a license (all other fishing regulations still apply). This program is designed to give families and youth a chance to learn and practice basic ice fishing skills.

The program begins with a basic Tips and Tricks to Ice Fishing session at 9 a.m. inside the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center Auditorium. Participants will learn how to rig a pole, select bait and equipment, learn about ice fishing safety and get a few tips on how to ice fish. An ice fishing derby starts at 10 a.m. with a special prize for the best catch. Bait and loaner fishing poles will be provided. Pre‑drilled holes for ice fishing will be offered to all children participating.  A warming fire and free hot chocolate will also be provided

This program provides a great opportunity for the entire family to get outdoors and fish, and for the kids to try out the skills they learned at last Saturday’s annual Winter Festival at Bay City State Recreation Area. To learn about this statewide Free Fishing Weekend Feb. 19 and 20, and to find more events, visit

The Bay City State Recreation Area is located at 3582 Park Dr. in Bay City. For more information, stop by the Saginaw Bay Visitor Center, located within Bay City State Recreation Area or call 989-667-0717.

The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan’s outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.

Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking “YES” on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site; these can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit or call (517) 241-7275.

The DNRE is committed to the conservation, protection, management, and accessible use and enjoyment of the state's environment, natural resources, and related economic interests for current and future generations. For more information, go to