With warm weather finally making its way to the area, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the outdoors.
Coincidentally, Saturday marks the annual Free Fishing and Park Entry Day in Nebraska. That means anyone can fish without a permit or visit a state park area without a park entry permit on Saturday only.
Even though fishing and park entry permits are not required, anglers must observe all fishing regulation. Camping, lodging and all other user fees still apply at state park areas.
Fremont Lakes State Recreation Area will host the annual Bob Bruner Memorial Fishing Derby from 9 a.m. to noon at Lake 16. Presented by the Fremont Optimist Club, the event honors Bruner, who chaired the optimist club’s kids fishing contest for 18 years.
Each child must be accompanied by a parent to be entered into the derby and casting contest.
Rods and reels will be given away and there will be prizes, free hot dogs, sloppy joes and pop while supplies last.
A grand opening celebration with free entry into the new, state-of-the-art Schramm Education Center will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at Schramm Park State Recreation Area, 21502 W. Highway 31, Gretna.
Schramm Education Center is home to a 21,000-gallon aquarium and multiple terrariums that exhibit over 60 freshwater fish, turtle, frog and snake species found in Nebraska.
The large aquarium tanks feature fish living in different ecosystems of Nebraska, including cool water steam, rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and farm ponds.
During the grand opening celebration, guided tours of the building will begin every half-hour.
Guests will be able to try virtual mountain biking, feel fish in the Pallid Sturgeon Touch Tank and dive into science at different activity stations.
Schramm Park State Recreation Area will offer guided hikes of the three miles of wooded trails at Schramm Park.
Hikers will experience the suspension bridge and a trip by the Canyon Ponds and Historic Hatch House. Toured hikes will begin on every hour from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Eugene T. Mahoney State Park will celebrate International Migratory Bird Month with a bird scavenger hunt from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Prizes will awarded at the free event.
A list of bird species, map and instructions will be available at the administration office. A digital camera or camera phone will be needed. You also may want to bring binoculars.
Mahoney State Park will offer family fishing from 9 a.m. to noon at CenturyLink Lake. Park naturalists and youth fishing instructors will provide equipment and bait for the free event.
A geocaching event will be held from 2-4 p.m. at Mahoney’s Conservatory & Greenhouse. Each person will need a GPS unit and a map. Some GPS units will be available for loan, but supplies are limited. Maps will be provided.
Prizes will be awarded to the first five people who complete all of the caches.