National Eagle Center’s popular kids fishing program returning this summer


Fishing on the Refuge casts off June 3

The youngest visitors to the National Eagle Center will once again have a chance to catch the big one on the Mississippi River this summer. Beginning Thursday, June 3, kids ages 15 and younger will be able to enjoy Fishing on the Refuge.

Fishing on the Refuge is an experiential learning opportunity for kids. The center provides kids with fishing poles, life jackets, and lead-free tackle free of charge and offers them a chance to connect with nature, learn about the river and its inhabitants, and experience the joy of fishing. Participants fish from the public dock located outside the National Eagle Center.

Fishing on the Refuge was canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19.

“We’re happy and excited to be able to offer this experience once again,” said Scott Mehus, educational director at the National Eagle Center. “Kids and adults learn about the native species of fish in the Mississippi River, and they learn the importance of using lead-free tackle as it relates to bald eagles and conservation. It’s an opportunity to observe birds and other native wildlife, and for many kids, it’s their first experience with fishing. It’s a great way to experience the outdoors.”

The Upper Mississippi National Wildlife and Fish Refuge begins near the National Eagle Center in Wabasha and runs 261 miles south to Rock Island, Ill.

Fishing on the Refuge will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Thursdays and Sundays, June 3 through August 12. Additional information can be found online at

The center will be open to visitors weekly Tuesday through Sunday. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

The National Eagle Center is a landmark interpretive center on the banks of the Mississippi River in Wabasha. Offering wild eagle viewing and up-close eagle experiences, the National Eagle Center connects people with eagles in nature, history, and culture. For more information about the National Eagle Center, visit The National Eagle Center is an equal opportunity provider.


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