Free Fishing Day, June 8, is not just for kids. On that Saturday everyone fishes for free on any public waters, and youths through age 15 can fish for free the following week, ending Friday, June 14. Find a complete list of events at; select Fishing and For the Kids. Bring your own fishing gear but many events have a limited supply of rods/reels.

Parks & Rec’s annual Duck Pond Fishing Derby for Kids in Alcoa has been cancelled this year due to the construction around the pond. There will be a kids fishing event (ages 3 to 12) in Maryville from 1-4 p.m Sunday, June 9, at Cedar Point Baptist Church, 1225 William Blount Drive. Here are some of the nearby events for June 8:

Knoxville: Concord Park (The Cove) on Northshore Drive, 8 a.m. to noon, ages 0-16.

Anderson County: Eagle Bend Fish Hatchery in Clinton, 8 a.m. to noon, ages 3 to 15.

Jefferson County: Talley Pond on Well Springs Road in Dandridge, 8 a.m. to noon, ages 1-16.

Madisonville: Kefauver Lake on Mason Lane, 6:30– 10 a.m., ages 1-16.

Tellico Plains: Tellico River at Pheasant Fields Picnic Area, 5:30– 9 a.m., ages 16 and under.

MORE FISHY NEWS: Tennessee is recognized as one of the best fishing regions in the country. In 2019 Tennessee Lakes will host two of the fastest-growing youth and collegiate fishing circuits in the country. On Aug. 1-3 the Bassmaster College Series National Championship will be held on Chickamauga Lake at Dayton. The event is sponsored by Carhartt and Bass Pro Shops.

In addition, on Aug. 8-10 the Bassmaster High School Championship will return to Kentucky Lake at Paris, for the fifth time. Also, on Aug. 6-7 the Bassmaster Junior Championship for grades 2-8 will be held again on Carroll County 1000-Acre Recreational Lake at Huntingdon. The event is sponsored by Mossy Oak Fishing and presented by Academy Sports + Outdoors.

The College Championship will field as many as 130 teams of anglers representing colleges and universities across the nation. The event will crown the 2019 Bassmaster College Series Team of the Year. On Aug. 27-29, the top four teams from the championship go on to the College Classic Bracket tournament on Watts Bar Lake at Spring City. In that competition, the four teams are split and the eight anglers compete individually for a coveted invitation to the Classic.

In the high school championship, 300 teams are expected to compete on Kentucky Lake on Aug. 8-10 for the high school championship crown. Each two-angler team is accompanied by a coach who runs the boat and can give advice on fishing techniques and patterns. These are the best of 13,000 high school B.A.S.S. members representing more than 1,300 high school fishing clubs nationwide. For more on all of the tournaments go to

AVOID HITCHHIKERS: We are talking about invasive aquatic species. There is a real invasion occurring all over the United States and it is primarily spread by people, especially fishers, boaters, hikers and anyone recreating from one body of water to another. All equipment that has touched the water or shore should be cleaned before leaving that water area; then it is vitally important to thoroughly scrub that equipment at home with disinfectant before using it again elsewhere.

Possible aquatic diseases or invasive species include: Didymo (rock snot), gill lice, whirling disease in trout, New Zealand mud snail, quagga mussels, zebra mussels, hydrilla and purple loosestrife. Many of these are already in some Tennessee waters and all of them are nearby.

The recommended cleaning procedure for footwear, waders, lures, tackle and anything that will touch the water, preferably done before leaving your home: Pressure wash or scrub every speck of mud, plants and debris from the items; soak them in a hot, five-percent solution of chlorine bleach for 10 minutes; thoroughly dry the items. Exposure to sunlight for eight hours is a bonus. Another bonus is to freeze the items for at least six hours.

An alternative to the chlorine bleach is a DuPont viricide disinfectant called “Virkon”. Freezing temperatures will kill the New Zealand mud snail, but I am not sure what else it kills. For much more on preventing the spread of invasive species, go to

And another note on this subject, never discard personal fish aquariums into public waterways, including fish, plants and possibly diseased water. These exotic species may run amok in the wild and destroy the local ecosystem.

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Tom Wiest is a long time columnist on all matters outdoors. He welcomes news, questions and comments from readers.

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