Crappie USA returns to the Kentucky and Barkley Lakes with a regional event today and Saturday. Competitive anglers compete for the championship of Region 1, presented by Bass Pro Shops / Cabela’s. During the year, anglers can also take part in the $ 50,000 points race and qualify for the Crappie USA Classic. The regional championships will all feature a cashback of $ 25,000 and the Classic will be highlighted with a cashback of $ 165,000. Teams can consist of one or two anglers, with a third member allowed if the angler is under 16 years of age. Qualifying teams can register by calling 502-384-5924. The tournament weigh-in will take place at Big Sandy City Hall, Highway 69, Big Sandy. The fishing times are 6:30 am to 3:00 pm and all anglers must be in the weighing line by 4:00 pm. FREE FISHING DAY SET The cheapest day of the year to fish in the Volunteer State is Saturday. Tennessee’s Free Fishing Day 2021 is scheduled for this weekend. Anyone can fish for free in Tennessee’s public waters without a license. Academy Sports & Outdoors has generously sponsored this year’s events across the country with fishing gear and giveaways. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency offers the annual day off in hopes of increasing interest in fishing. The day gives everyone the chance to try this great outdoor sport to celebrate fishing as a healthy and healthy recreational opportunity. Additionally, children ages 15 and under can fish without a license from Free Fishing Day until next Friday, June 18. The day and week are annual events in Tennessee, and are a great opportunity to introduce kids to the fun and excitement of a day when the water catches fish. Many events are returning this year after being canceled last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The TWRA is one of several organizations that plan special fishing events especially for young people. The TWRA stores several thousand pounds of fish annually for various events. A list of events can be found on the TWRA website at www. tnwildlife.org. Anglers and prospective anglers should check the event listing regularly as special events are added frequently. Free Fishing Day and Week applies to Tennessee public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes, and state park facilities. Some privately owned paid lakes and ponds continue to charge fees on this special day and week. Anglers must contact this operator if they have any questions about a system. STATE PARKS UP FOR AWARD Tennessee State Parks is a finalist for the 2021 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park and Recreation Management, according to the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association. “Our state parks system is embedded in the fabric of the Tennessee communities,” said David Salyers, commissioner for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation. “Resource conservation, natural beauty, world-class facilities and outdoor experiences make Tennessee State Parks some of the best in the nation.” The National Gold Medal Awards recognize achievements in state park management over the past few years. During this time, significant progress was made in completing state park capital projects. These include the opening of fully renovated lodges in Montgomery Bell and Pickwick Landing state parks; rejuvenating cabins from the 1930s in Standing Stone, Pickett, and Cumberland Mountain state parks; and the construction of the Fall Creek Falls and Cummins Falls Visitor Centers. Tennessee State Parks is prioritizing access to outdoor recreational activities by working with school districts and rural and distressed counties to improve local access and promote tourism to these communities. Tennessee State Parks provided much-needed getaways during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 34 million visitors used the Tennessee State Parks in 2020 with record-breaking campground and cabin occupancy. Founded in 1965, the National Gold Medal Awards program honors communities in the United States who demonstrate excellence in parks and recreational activities through long-term planning, resource management, volunteering, environmental stewardship, program development, professional development, and government recognition. Agencies are judged on their ability to meet the needs of those they serve through the collective energy of community members, staff, and elected officials. Tennessee State Parks joins three other finalists in the State Parks category: Delaware State Parks, Ohio Division of State Parks & Watercraft, and Texas State Parks. A jury made up of five park and leisure professionals appraises and evaluates all application documents. A winner will be announced during the NRPA 2021 annual conference in Nashville, September 21-23. NATURE CONSERVATION COMPETITION PLANNED The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation has put together 10 outdoor adventure packages, plus 100 additional prizes will be awarded in an upcoming competition. This year’s event is highlighted by a $ 50,000 voucher that can be applied to a new vehicle at any Mid-South Ford dealer. Other packages include a moose tag for the Tennessee Premier Elk Zone, a deer hunt on Presidents Island; a tracker boat, a UTV, a turkey hunting package; Waterfowl Hunting Package, $ 5,000 Academy Sports & Outdoors Gift Card, Precision Long Range Shooting Package, Tennessee Henry Rifle, and 100 winners will receive a knife. All 10 packages contain additional items and details on prices can be found at www.twrf.net/. A single ticket is $ 20, three tickets are $ 50, and 10 tickets are $ 100, and are available now through August 15 at midnight. Ten winning tickets will be drawn in sequence and these winners will be asked to prioritize their prize selection. One hundred percent of the donation goes to conservation in Tennessee. The foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the habitat conservation, responsible land management, and hunting and fishing heritage of Tennessee for the benefit of the outdoor enthusiasts of TWRA and Tennessee. SPORTSMEN’S CALENDAR Today-Saturday – Crappie USA Regional Tournament, Big Sandy. Saturday – Free fishing day in Tennessee. Saturday to June 18th – Free fishing week for children up to 15 years.