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Gone Fishin’ at the Indiana State Fair

If you can’t find us at the Indiana State Fair, it may be because we’ve “gone fishin’”!

The DNR State Fair Fishin’ Pond is in its 14th year and is a program that allows children ages 5-17 the opportunity to fish for free!

Amber caught up with a young fisherman and his dad to find out why this opportunity is such a “catch!”

About the DNR State Fair Fishin’ Pond:

Parents sign-up their kids at the registration table, families listen to a short talk about fishing safety, and then the kids can fish for up to 15 minutes. After fishing, the whole family can learn more about Indiana fish through a coloring activity and playing with fishy friends. In 2018, more than 3,000 kids fished at the Pond, and, for many of them, this was their first fishing experience. The program would not be such a success without the wonderful volunteers.

Would you like to volunteer? We need hundreds of people to help during the 17 days of the Fair. Volunteers get free admission to the Fair, a free Fishing Pond T-shirt, and the opportunity to fish with kids for a few hours at the Pond. If you don’t like touching worms, getting fishy, or standing in the sun, other volunteer needs are available. The Pond has five volunteer stations and needs about 20 volunteers each 3-hour fishing session:

You will help parents register their kids and let them know where they need to go next.
You will speak to kids and their parents about fish, fishing and the rules of the Pond before the fishing begins.
You will work directly with the kids and their families around the Pond. You will assist 2-3 kids at a time during their fishing experience and help bait hooks, cast the cane pole, catch fish, and return fish to the water. Equipment
You will tie knots to hooks and supply the fishing crew with ready-to-go cane poles.
You will help kids with a hands-on, educational, craft activity, which will be supplied. You will also hand out take home materials.

If you are interested in volunteering at the State Fair Fishing Pond, please apply to volunteer. Registration for 2019 will begin soon. If you need additional assistance or have questions, email