The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) invites you to a free youth freshwater fishing derby at Tenoroc Public Use Area and Youth Conservation Center in Lakeland on April 7, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Pre-registration is required for the derby. The FWC is celebrating the 25th anniversary of this event. A fishing license is not required on this particular weekend because it falls during a state-designated license-free freshwater fishing weekend.

This special event will be conducted on Derby Lake, a 17-acre former phosphate pit stocked with a variety of freshwater sport fish and catfish. The lake has three fishing piers and a 200-foot boardwalk for fishing that is accessible to anglers with disabilities.

There will be a casting contest and a number of other outdoor activities for youth. Free lunch will be provided by McKeel Academy of Technology’s fishing team. Bait and a limited number of loaner rods and reels will also be provided free of charge to youth ages 15 and younger. Older anglers are welcome to enjoy this fishing opportunity, but must supply their own bait and tackle.

To pre-register, call the FWC at 863-648-3200 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. A parent or guardian must accompany the youth participant.

If you would like more information on freshwater fishing, visit the FWC Freshwater Fishing webpage at or call the FWC’s Lakeland office at 863-648-3200.

News Reporter