Third Annual Bill Morris Fishing Derby Scheduled For Saturday

PONCA – Don’t have a fishing license or a park pass yet? Well an annual event held on the Saturday preceding Memorial Day weekend in Nebraska offers a free fishing and park entry day.

Mark your calendar for May 18 and visit a state park in Nebraska. This means anyone can fish without a permit or explore outdoor opportunities at any Nebraska state park, state recreation area or state historical park. Anglers must observe all fishing regulations as camping, lodging and all other user fees still apply at state park areas.

Make plans to visit Ponca State Park this weekend during the Third annual Bill Morris Memorial Fishing Derby which is a free event. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. all ages are invited to compete in the fishing derby.

During that same time, a casting competition will be available for those ages 3-15. Participants will gain points for each plastic fish they catch. First place will be awarded in two age groups (seven and up; 8-15).

Competitors will be divided into three age groups of six and under; 7-12 as well as 13 and above. Prizes will be awarded for the longest fish in each age division and smallest fish overall at 2 p.m. near the pond.

Prizes were donated in memory of Larry Lombard, a close friend of Bill Morris. Morris was the Assistant Superintendent at Ponca State Park from 1973 – 2010. He passed in January of 2017 and had a passion for the park, his family and the sport of fishing.

Enter the “Take Em Fishing” pledge in making the commitment to take someone new fishing or someone who has been absent from the sport. Prizes will be awarded all summer long with the grand prize being a fishing boat.

Like Ponca State Park on Facebook to view their upcoming events. All programs are subject to change due to staffing/weather and for more information call 402-755-2284.

For more details on park events taking place on Free Fishing and Park Entry Day, visit