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License-free fishing events this weekend

Tackle items dad got for Father’s Day could be put to good use during license-free days this coming weekend.

Anglers statewide can try their hands and fishing gear on all public-access waters. Four events, fishing clinics and/or tourneys mainly focused on youth involvement, are set for Saturday and Sunday.

An Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs and Department of Environmental Conservation Teach-Me-To-Fish Family Fishing Day starts at 9:30 a.m. at Chestnut Ridge Park Lake in Orchard Park. This free event offers youths ages 15 and younger learning stations to help improve tackle handling, pond fishing, a hot dog lunch and prize drawings. For more details, check with Dave Barus at 597-4081.

Southtowns Walleye Association holds its Annual Catch-and-Release Kid’s Fishing Derby at Tifft Nature Preserve Saturday morning. Sign-ins begin at 7:30 a.m. Fishing goes from 8 to 11 a.m. followed with a free hot dog lunch, awards and prize drawings. For more information, call 649-8202 or 861-5687.

Cabala’s is the major sponsor for the Fifth Annual Hooked on the Tonawandas Fish Tournament this weekend. Youths can fish for free for merchandise prizes or register as adults in the competition. Fish must be caught from the Erie Canal. Prizes will be given for the largest weight in five divisions. For registration details, visit

A Family Fishing Weekend is set for the upper Niagara River 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily at Blackrock Canal Park, foot of Ontario Street. This free event is open to all. For details, check with George Johnson at 818-3410.

Basseye drawing nigh

The 14th Annual Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s BassEye Celebrity Challenge offers good celebrity presence Thursday and the enjoyable challenge of trying to catch high numbers of bass and walleye on the Friday outing.

TV personality Linda Pellegrino and radio comic Rob Lederman serve as hosts/emcees during an auction and party held at the Rich Atrium off Niagara Street on Thursday evening.

Jim Kelly promises to be back and in play that night and day. CFF executive director Gia Coone offered thanks to the 36 boat captains who will be participating. Bob and Mindy Rich began this popular team-tournament competition 13 years ago to help fund cystic fibrosis treatment and cure efforts. For details on all BassEye activities, visit

Big toys event

Hamburg Natural History Society will hold its 11th Annual Big Toys, Trucks and Bikes Event as a fundraiser for the Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center off Big Tree Road in Hamburg. Events go from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on June 28.

Kids and adults can get an up-close view of modern and classic vehicles and big rigs, from motorcycles and other road vehicles to fire trucks and construction equipment.

During the event, visitors can view sunspots through telescopes and dig for fossils.

To make it more fun, bring a camera and digging tools. For more details and directions, call 626-4560 or visit