Carlyle Lake Weekend Activities

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Grab your fishing poles and bait and reel in some fish this weekend at Carlyle Lake during Illinois Free Fishing Days. From Friday, 14 June through Monday, 17 June anyone can fish in Illinois without having to purchase a fishing license. This annual event is the perfect time to introduce someone to the sport of fishing.

In conjunction with Illinois Free Fishing Days, the Cabela’s King Kat Tournament will be at Carlyle Lake on Saturday, 15 June. Over 200 two-man teams will compete in the Cabela’s King Kat fishing tournament, the Super Bowl of catfishing. The tournament begins at 6:30 a.m. sharp with the final weigh-in at 4:00 p.m. in the Dam West Boat Ramp. In addition to the tournament, Cabela’s will host a kids fishing rodeo at the Carlyle Lake Visitor Center Willow Pond in Carlyle, IL. Registration begins at 8:00 a.m. with the rodeo taking place from 9:00-11:00 a.m. This event is open to kids 12 years of age and under. Participants must provide their own fishing pole and bait. All kids’ rodeo participants will receive prizes provided by Cabela’s and be eligible to win one of six $1,000 scholarships. Scholarship winners will be drawn at the Crappie USA Classic.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present interactive educational programs on Friday and Saturday evenings and beach programs on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Presentations are free and open to the public.

Friday, 14 June:
8:00 p.m. West Bay Amphitheater, Dam West Campground – Shoot For the Stars
8:00 p.m. Cattail Cove Amphitheater, Coles Creek Campground – Salamanders, Frogs, and Pollywogs
8:00 p.m. Brewster Creek Amphitheater, Boulder Campground – Animal Track Bingo

Saturday, 15 June:
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Kids Fishing Rodeo, Willow Pond, Carlyle Lake Visitor Center
2:00 p.m. Dam West Beach – Water Safety
2:30 p.m. Harbor Light Bay Beach – Water Safety
2:30 p.m. McNair Beach – Water Safety
3:00 p.m. Keyesport Beach – Water Safety
3:00 p.m. Coles Creek Beach – Water Safety
4:00 p.m. Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Weigh-in, Dam West Boat Ramp
8:00 p.m. West Bay Amphitheater, Dam West Campground – Animal Track Bingo
8:00 p.m. Cattail Cove Amphitheater, Coles Creek Campground – Shoot For the Stars
8:00 p.m. Brewster Creek Amphitheater, Boulder Campground – Salamanders, Frogs, and Pollywogs

Sunday, 16 June:
10:00 a.m. Carlyle Lake Main Dam Tour – Starts at the top of the Carlyle Lake Dam
2:00 p.m. Dam West Beach – Water Safety
2:30 p.m. Harbor Light Bay Beach – Water Safety
2:30 p.m. McNair Beach – Water Safety
3:00 p.m. Keyesport Beach – Water Safety
3:00 p.m. Coles Creek Beach – Water Safety

Dam West, Coles Creek, and Boulder Campgrounds are open with sites available on a first-come-first-serve basis and also through reservation by calling the National Recreation Reservation Service at 1-877-444-6777 or online at www.recreation.gov. McNair and Dam East Campgrounds are open on a first-come-first-serve basis. Eldon Hazlet State Park is also open and has sites available on a first-come, first-serve basis or online at www.reserveamerica.com

The Carlyle Lake Visitor Center is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The Visitor Center has exhibits and brochures to help plan your stay at Carlyle Lake.

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