Friday, February 9, 2018

Michigan: Kids free fishing weekend contest to raise funds for firefighting equipment in Gogebic County

Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department to hold ninth-annual event on Sunday Lake

During Michigan’s winter Free Fishing Weekend, the Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department will hold its ninth-annual ice fishing contest on Saturday, Feb. 17 on Sunday Lake in Gogebic County.

The 224-acre lake located in Wakefield is one of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ designated Family Friendly Fishing Waters, home to perch, panfish, walleye and northern pike.

All fishing license fees are waived during Free Fishing Weekend. Residents and out-of-state visitors may enjoy fishing on inland and Great Lakes waters for all species of fish. All fishing regulations still apply.

“We’ve been hosting our fishing contest on Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend for the past several years in an attempt to attract people who otherwise may not fish, as well as to draw participation from Wisconsin and Minnesota,” said Jennifer Jacobson, secretary of the fire department’s ice fishing contest committee.

Funds raised during the contest will go toward the purchase of extrication equipment and fire suppression equipment, including structural and wildland firefighting equipment. Last year’s funds were used to purchase advanced extrication equipment, flashlights, and truck repairs.

“We’ve been successful in drawing more and more people each year and have been able to purchase advanced life saving equipment, increasing our services and ability to better protect lives and property,” said Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department Chief Mike Yon. “This is our department’s largest annual fundraising event.”

Although the ice fishing contest is geared toward children, organizers anticipates having prizes available for all ages.

“We give away around $8,000 in door and raffle prizes and also sponsor two scholarships to local graduating seniors with the funds,” Jacobson said.

Donations can be sent to Wakefield Volunteer Fire Department, Attn: Ice Fishing Committee, 509 Sunday Lake Street, Wakefield, MI 49968.

For more information on the ice fishing contest, please contact Mike Singleton at (906) 364-0729; Jim Tarro at (906) 364-3636; or Jen Jacobson at (906) 364-0174 or via email at

To learn more about Free Fishing Weekend in Michigan, or to find more events located near you, visit the DNR’s webpage at

Contact: Jen Jacobson (906) 364-0174 or John Pepin (DNR), 906-226-1352