Want to get your children on the ice to experience the joy of hooking a fish? Want to show friends and neighbors how much fun it is to fish?

Valentine’s weekend is the time to do those things as the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife promotes Family Fishing Days.

On Saturday, Feb. 13 and Sunday, Feb. 14, people can fish for free on Maine’s waterways. This free fishing event is open to any person except those whose fishing license has been revoked or suspended. All fishing regulations apply.

For a complete list of fishing regulations, including limits and sizes, visit mefishwildlife.com and click “fishing.”

Fishing, whether on open water or on ice, is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Maine, drawing thousands of residents and out-of-state visitors to the state’s nearly 6,000 lakes and ponds and almost 32,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Approximately 286,000 people annually purchase fishing licenses in Maine, and the sport has a $300 million impact on the state’s economy.

“Family Fishing Days provide the perfect opportunity for adults to introduce children to fishing,” said IF&W Commissioner Roland “Danny” Martin. “It’s also a chance to show family and friends who have never fished that fishing provides fun, memorable experiences that can’t be duplicated.”

Fishing licenses are available for purchase on IF&W’s website, at any of the more than 285 MOSES licensing agents statewide, or at town offices and other locations.

Licenses also are available at the department’s main office at 284 State St., Augusta.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at sports@villagesoup.com.