The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Jordan Lake State Recreation Area are hosting a free fishing event on April 21 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at the White Oak Recreation Area, located on White Oak Beach Road in Chatham County.

The Family Fishing Fiesta will feature more than a dozen hands-on activities where participants can fish (loaner fishing rods and free bait are available), try paddling a canoe with Haw River Canoe and Kayak Co., learn about lures with the NCSU Student Fisheries Society and more. Students can chat with conservation and law enforcement professionals about careers in natural resources, and see the research vessels used for their work. Two on-site food trucks, BBQ Proper and El Molcajete, will have lunch items and snacks available for purchase. 

At the 2 p.m. raffle, attendees can win a lifetime freshwater fishing license, two family passes to N.C. State Parks or a one-year subscription to the Wildlife Commission’s award-winning magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina. Youth age 12 and younger who participate in the scavenger hunt will also be entered into a drawing for prizes such as fishing poles and life jackets.

The event is co-sponsored by the N.C. Chapter of the American Fisheries Society and North Carolina State Parks/Friends of State Parks. Other partners and exhibitors include: The Hispanic Liason, Immersion Spanish Language Academy, Coast Guard Auxiliary, Haw River Assembly, The River Guardian Foundation, Boy Scouts of America, Chatham County Sheriff Department, American Wildlife Refuge, The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, N.C. Division of Air Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“Last year we had a wonderful turnout of diverse families, many of whom were fishing for the first time,” said C.C. King, an educator with the Commission. “The whole family can fish for free during the event, and there is plenty to see, learn and do at our education and recreation stations. Light rain or shine, we will fish and have fun.”    

The White Oak Recreation Area is located in Apex, off U.S. 64 on the east side of the lake, diagonally across from the Jordan Lake Visitor Center. For more information on the Family Fishing Fiesta, visit or Jordan Lake State Recreation Area.