PIONEER RIDGE — The Wapello County Conservation Board will host a virtual contest from June 5-7 in honor of free fishing weekend in Iowa.

Annette Wittrock said any Iowa resident can fish without a license during the contest weekend. The conservation board will offer fishing equipment for use from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 6, at Pioneer Ridge Nature Center.

Those who fish at WCCB’s ponds are asked to adhere to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing guidelines. Once residents turn in fishing poles or lures belonging to the board, they will not be able to use them for the rest of the day.

“Bait worms will be available as long as they last, and you can also try some of our lures,” Pioneer Ridge’s Facebook post said. “All in-person participants will receive a hand-made ruler for measuring your catch to take with you.” Residents are not required to use fishing equipment or fish from ponds at the nature center to enter the contest.

Residents must follow the guidelines in order to be eligible to enter:

They must be 18 years or younger to enter; fish at a pond owned by the WCCB, which are located at Pioneer Ridge Nature Area, Sycamore Wildlife Area, Grey Eagle Wildlife Preserve, and the Eddyville Sand Dunes. Contestants should post a picture of them fishing or a photo of a fish they caught to the board’s Facebook page. Residents should include in their post a description of where they fished, what kind of fish they caught and how big it was. Posts must be submitted by midnight on June 7.

On Monday, June 8, the conservation board will select a winner from all entries for a fishing contest prize. The prize will include a fishing rod and reel, a tackle box and some lures and baits. The winner will be contacted by noon on Monday, June 8 and be posted to the conservation board’s Facebook page.

For more information, contact Annette Wittrock at awittrock@wapellocounty.org or 641-682-3091.

Chiara Romero can be reached at cromero@ottumwacourier.com.

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