LINCOLN – Free Fishing and Park Entry Day in Nebraska is May 18. Enjoy a Saturday of fishing or state park activities without the need to purchase a fishing or park entry permit for the day.

Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, held annually in Nebraska on the Saturday preceding Memorial Day weekend, means anyone can explore outdoor opportunities at any Nebraska state park, state recreation area or state historical park. Anglers must observe all fishing regulations. Camping, lodging and all other user fees still apply at state park areas.

Several family-friendly activities are scheduled in state park areas across the state to celebrate Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, including:

Wildlands Day, Wildcat Hills State Recreation Area: This daylong celebration includes a bird hike, wildflower walk, kids’ crafts and more.

Youth Fishing Clinic, Platte River State Park: Youth can take part in a free fishing clinic, with loaner fishing poles available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Bird Hike, Smith Falls State Park: Participate in bird identification along the Niobrara River.

The grand opening of the Schramm Education Center at Schramm Park State Recreation Area is also scheduled for May 18, so visitors can visit the new facilities without a park entry fee. In addition, the admission fee will also be waived for this day. The facility features newly renovated and expanded aquariums featuring Nebraska’s natural aquatic habitats, a 2,200-gallon touch tank, 17 live animal tanks and a virtual reality mountain biking experience.

May 18 also is a great opportunity to participate in the Take ‘em Fishing challenge, in which anglers pledge to take new or inexperienced anglers fishing. Fish permits typically are required for anglers age 16 and older – but not on Free Fishing and Park Entry Day. Visit for more information.

Nebraska boasts 76 state park areas with innumerable opportunities to enjoy the outdoors, including fishing, kayaking, boating, hiking, horseback riding, wildlife watching, and even learning about history at a state historical park. Visit a park on May 18 to make memories with family, try a new challenge and spend time relaxing in the outdoors.

For more details on park events taking place on Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, visit

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