Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair returns to Father Marquette | Jersey County News

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Scenes from the Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park near Grafton, Illinois


Mealworms squirmed, trout collapsed, and lures flew at Saturday’s Two Rivers Family Fishing Fair at Pere Marquette State Park.

The one-day free event returned to the state park after being canceled for two consecutive years due to flooding and the pandemic, said Charlie Deutsch, director of the Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge. The aim is to get children interested in fishing and other outdoor activities.

The fair typically has between 2,000 and 2,500 children, according to Deutsch. This year there were fewer crowds, possibly due to intermittent showers throughout the day; he estimated attendance at around 1,000 people.

Children who visited seven kiosks received a prize and had the chance to catch a trout. They could take the fish home or have it cleaned and cooked at the fair.

Visitors watched Illinois River species swim in a 3,000 gallon aquarium, atop which Billy Hurt offered fishing tips. Camo the Clown and the Lodge Brothers group provided entertainment.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge, administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service; and Pere Marquette State Park, administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, are the hosts of the fair.


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