Posted Thursday, 23 May 2013 16:32
If you're looking for a fun activity that's outdoors and close to home, mark June 8 on your calendar.
June 8 will be a great day to take a kid fishing: It's Free Fishing Day in Utah.
Photo by Scott Root, Utah Division of Wildlife Reservoir
June 8 is Free Fishing Day in Utah. You don't need a fishing license to fish in the state that day.
"Make plans now to take your family out and enjoy a free day of fishing," says Drew Cushing, warm water sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources.
Cushing says early June is one of the best times of the year to fish in Utah. Fishing for warm water fish, including bluegill, catfish, white bass and smallmouth and largemouth bass, is just starting to pick up. And trout and other cold water fish are still active and available to catch.
Some of the best places to fish
Before Free Fishing Day, the DWR will place extra fish in waters across Utah. Most of the fish will be placed in lakes and reservoirs, so lakes and reservoirs should be good places to fish on June 8.
Utah's community fishing ponds are another good place to try. Before June 8, catfish that average 18 inches in length will be stocked into the ponds. "Catch one of these cats," Cushing says, "and you'll be in for a fun fight."
Depending on where you live, a community pond might be only a few minutes away. Learn more about Utah's community fishing ponds.
Cushing says the DWR will keep stocking catfish into the ponds until the temperature cools in the fall. "Then we'll place trout in the ponds," he says.
Learn the rules
You don't need a license to fish on June 8, but all of the other rules in the state's fishing guidebook will still be in effect.
Cushing encourages you to get a copy of the 2013 Utah Fishing Guidebook and learn the rules. The free guidebook is available online. Copies are also available at DWR offices and from fishing license agents across Utah.
"If you have any questions," he says, "please call the nearest DWR office. We'll be happy to help you out."
Several free fishing events will be held on Free Fishing Day. The following are some of the events the DWR will be involved with:
The Bear River Celebration and Free Fishing Day will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the pond, which is located in Willow Park. The park is at 450 W. 700 S.
People of all ages can enjoy free fishing at the pond. Fishing equipment will be available to check out and use. Volunteers will also be available to help first-time anglers fish.
Special interactive activity booths will also be available for those ages 4 to 18 years old. The first 200 youths who visit the booths and complete their "Bear River Adventure Passport" 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. Youths can tie their own fishing fly, experience how rivers and streams are formed, explore the life cycles of fish, go "buggy over bugs," stamp ink prints of fish and much more.
New activities this year include historical reenactments by the Old Ephraim Mountain Men, a live birds of prey show, take-home nature crafts courtesy of The Home Depot, information about beavers and a chance to visit the Willow Park Zoo.
For more information, e-mail Marni Lee with the Division of Wildlife Resources at
Bear River Celebration website.
Utah Lake State Park
The annual Utah Lake Festival will feature fishing activities for anglers both young and old. The festival, which is held at the park, is free of charge.
The park is at 4400 W. Center St.
As part of the festival, volunteers from the Salt Lake County Fish and Game Association (SLCFGA) will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help anglers catch fish in the lake, including bluegill, catfish, crappie and bass. If you don't have your own fishing equipment and bait, you can borrow both from the SLCFGA.
A Free Fishing Day event that includes a fishing contest will be held at Community Lake (sometimes called Lake Hill Pond). The lake is in Ephraim Canyon, about five miles east of Ephraim.
Registration begins at 9 a.m. The fishing contest starts at 10 a.m. Food and prizes will be available.
Before the event, the DWR will stock the pond with trout.
The U.S. Forest Service is sponsoring the event. For more information, call the Sanpete Ranger District office at 435-283-4151.
Three Free Fishing Day events for anglers of all ages will be held in northeastern Utah:
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. At all three events, personnel from the sponsoring agencies will be on-site to answer questions about fish and fishing, and to help anglers catch fish.
Each event should be a fun activity for anglers of all ages and the whole family!
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are sponsoring the events. For more information, contact any of the sponsors or the UDWR's Vernal office at 435-781-9453.
Carbon County Fairgrounds Pond
A Free Fishing Day event will be held from 8–11 a.m. at the pond. The pond is in the Carbon County Fairgrounds, 120 E. Main St.
The DWR will stock the pond before the event. DWR staff will also provide rods, reels and bait, along with supervision and instruction. The Carbon County Recreation Department will provide hot dogs and soft drinks.
For more information, call the DWR's office in Price at 435-613-3707.
Leigh Hill Reservoir
Leigh Hill Reservoir is one of Utah's community fisheries. To reach the reservoir, follow Cedar City's Royal Hunt Drive to the top of Leigh Hill.
Prizes will be offered and some fishing equipment will be available to check out and use at the pond. DWR personnel and volunteers will also be on hand to help youngsters fish and to help them keep their hooks baited.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife is cosponsoring the event.
For more information, call the DWR's Cedar City office at 435-865 6100.
Grandpa's Pond is one of Utah's community fisheries. To reach the pond, follow State Street in Hurricane to the west of town, and then turn north on 3700 West. Continue north on 3700 West until the pavement ends.
Buck's Ace Hardware in Hurricane is cosponsoring the event.
For more information, call Lynn Chamberlain at 435-680 0059.
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