Utahs Free Fishing Day - Fish for Free on June 6

If you’re looking for a fun activity that’s close to home and doesn’t cost much, mark June 6 on your calendar.

June 6 is Free Fishing Day in Utah. You won’t need a fishing license to fish in the state that day.

“Make plans now to get out with your family and enjoy a free day of fishing,” says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.

Cushing says Utah has plenty of water this year, and fishing should be better than ever. “Fishing at many of our mid-elevation reservoirs is really good right now,” he says. “As the spring runoff recedes, fishing will pick up at the state’s rivers and streams too.”

You won’t need a license to fish on June 6, but Cushing reminds you that the other rules in the state’s fishing guidebook will still be in effect.

You can learn those rules by reading the 2009 Utah Fishing Guidebook. The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks/2009_fishing.

Copies are also available at DWR offices and from fishing license agents across the state.

Some of the best places to fish

Before Free Fishing Day, the DWR will place extra fish in waters across Utah. Most of those fish will be placed in lakes and reservoirs, so those might be good places to try on June 6.

Utah’s community fishing ponds are another good place to consider. Depending on where you live, a community pond might be only a few minutes away.

You can learn more about Utah’s community fishing ponds at www.wildlife.utah.gov/cf/2008_book.pdf.

“We’ll stock the community fishing ponds with channel catfish before Free Fishing Day,” Cushing says. “We’ll continue stocking the ponds with catfish until the temperatures cool in the fall. Then we’ll start placing trout in the ponds again.”

Several free fishing events for children will be held on Free Fishing Day. The following are some of the events the DWR will be involved in:

NORTHERN UTAH

LOGAN

The Bear River Celebration and Free Fishing Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Willow Park, 419 W. 700 S.

People of all ages can enjoy free fishing at Skylar’s Pond. Volunteers will be on hand to check out fishing equipment. They’ll also be available to help first-time anglers.

Activity booths, for those ages 4 to 18, will also be offered. The first 250 kids and teenagers who visit the booths and complete their “passport to fun” will receive a free t-shirt. The interactive booths will give young people a chance to discover the joys of fishing and learn the importance of good water quality. Kids and teenagers can tie their own wooly bugger, experience how rivers and streams are formed, explore the life cycles of fish, go “buggy over bugs,” make fish prints, learn to cast a fishing lure and learn more about Leave No Trace fishing and camping!

A variety of local, state and federal agencies are sponsoring the activity. The activity promotes water quality and fishing.

For more information, e-mail Marni Lee with the Division of Wildlife Resources at marnilee@utah.gov.

NORTH-CENTRAL UTAH

MIDWAY

“Kid’s Fishing Event,” Wasatch Mountain State Park pond, about two miles west of Midway.

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Space is limited. If your child would like to participate, please register in advance by calling Wendy Wilson at (435) 654-1791.

The DWR will stock the pond with rainbow trout before the event. The kids who participate will be taught about fish and how to catch them starting at 9 a.m. Once the training is done, the kids are free to fish at the pond. If your child needs help, volunteers from the DWR’s Dedicated Hunter program will be available to help them fish and clean the fish they catch.

Fishing poles and bait will be available for children who don’t have their own equipment.

PROVO

The Fourth Annual Utah Lake Festival will be held at Utah Lake State Park, 4400 W. Center St.

Fishing equipment will be available for use at no charge. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., but you can use the fishing equipment as early as 7 a.m.

Festival activities include free boat rides; a sail-boat regatta; a canoeing workshop and excursions; a fishing simulator; vendor booths; and face painting and art activities for the kids. Free hot dogs, snow cones, popcorn, apples and water will be provided by Provo, American Fork, Orem, Springville and Santaquin cities.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., there is no fee to visit Utah Lake State Park and the festival. The festival offers a chance to get outside and enjoy Utah Lake, experience its many recreational opportunities and offerings, and learn about the lake’s ecosystem and the native fish species that live in the lake.

NORTHEASTERN UTAH

Three Free Fishing Day events for kids of all ages will be held in northeastern Utah:

- Pelican Lake in Uintah County, 8 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management, XRQ 94 Radio and the DWR.

- Moose Ponds in Daggett County, 9 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service, the Flaming Gorge National Scenic Byway partnership and the DWR.

Note: Moose Ponds is a popular spot along the scenic byway. The ponds have been improved over the past few months. A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony will be held on June 6 to celebrate the improvements.

- Lower Stillwater Ponds on Rock Creek in Duchesne County. The event should run from 9 a.m. to noon. Sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and the DWR.

If you have your own fishing pole, you’re encouraged to bring it to these events. A limited number of poles will be available at the Pelican Lake and Moose Pond sites for those who don’t have a pole but would like to try fishing. Fishing demonstrations will also be provided at the Pelican Lake and Moose Pond events.

The sponsors of the three events have arraigned for prizes and other give-aways for the younger children that drop by. These events should be fun for the whole family!

For more information, contact any of the sponsors or the DWR’s Vernal office at (435) 781-9453.

SOUTHWESTERN UTAH

CEDAR CITY

The Division of Wildlife Resources will sponsor a fishing event at Duck Creek Pond from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Children 12 years of age and younger are invited to come to the pond and fish for free. A fishing license is not required, and fishing equipment will be available for kids who don’t have their own equipment. DWR personnel and volunteers will also be available to help the kids fish.

Duck Creek Pond is about 24 miles southeast of Cedar City on Route 14.

For more information, call the DWR’s Cedar City office at (435) 865-6100.

TROPIC RESERVOIR

A free Kids Fishing Derby will be held at Tropic Reservoir from 9 a.m. to noon.

The DWR will stock the reservoir with fish before the event. Each child who attends the event will receive a prize. Refreshments will also be provided.

Tropic Reservoir is just west of Bryce Canyon National Park. To reach the reservoir, travel southeast from Panguitch on Route 12. Five miles before you reach the park, turn south on a gravel road and travel 10 miles to the reservoir.

For more information, call Jake Schoppe with the U.S. Forest Service at (435) 676-9300.

Radio interview about black bear safety - available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/radio/

Fishing reports - available at http://www.utahfishinginfo.com/dwr/fishingreports.php.