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Free fishing event to be offered at CEW

MANSFIELD -- National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 25 and Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center in Mansfield is giving kids and adults the opportunity to take advantage of free fishing in celebration.

A free Kids Fishing Event will take place from 9 a.m. to noon at Clubhouse Lake for kids 16 and under. Kids will have a chance to catch a variety of fish including bass, bream and catfish. Harvest limits will be posted. Kids under 14 must be supervised by an accompanying adult. Participants must bring their own bait and tackle. Registration is not required. This will be the last Kids Fishing Event until next spring.

Also, the general public will be able to fish at Charlie Elliott and anywhere in the state without a license on Sept. 25.

"They can come here to the wildlife management area or go to North Georgia and go trout fishing or go to the coast and go saltwater fishing. They won't need a license," said Alesia Rast, curator at Charlie Elliott.

Charlie Elliott has 18 lakes and most should be open that day, Rast said, noting that fishing is allowed from sunup to sundown. Normally, fishing at Charlie Elliott requires not only a fishing license but an additional license because the property is a wildlife management area.

"If they were interested in fishing here before but didn't want to buy both a fishing license and a wildlife management area license, this is a great way to check us out without making any investment, and then maybe they'll decide they want to come here and fish all year long," Rast said.

For those who decide one day of fishing isn't enough, fishing licenses are available at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, located at 543 Elliott Trail in Mansfield, or at www.georgiawildlife.com. Fishing licenses are $9 for one year, while hunting licenses are $10. Or, both can be purchased for $17. Two-year licenses are also available.

The visitors center at Charlie Elliott will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25 for the public to learn more about Newton resident Charlie Elliott and his contributions to the Department of Natural Resources.

In addition, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites will not charge parking or admission fees on that day.