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Crowd of people of all ages fishing at a pond

Fish for free in Utah on June 11

Salt Lake City — If you'd like to catch a fish in Utah's beautiful outdoors but you don't have a fishing license, Free Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

Crowd of people of all ages fishing at a pond

Free Fishing Day will be held on Saturday, June 11, and allows anyone to fish at any public waterbody in Utah without a license. It makes for a great family activity and is the perfect time to get outdoors and introduce your kids to fishing (or your neighbors and friends)! It’s an ideal day not only for beginning anglers to give fishing a try, but is also a fun time for experienced anglers too.

"Because you don't need a license to fish that day, it's the perfect time to take someone with you and introduce them to this fun sport," Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Sportfish Coordinator Randy Oplinger said. "Early June is one of the best times to fish in Utah. All of the fish in the state, both warmwater and coldwater species, are active and willing to bite this time of the year. And with the ongoing drought, it will be better to go fishing earlier in the summer when water temperatures aren't quite as high and water levels in some areas aren't too low."

If you are taking someone fishing for their first time, you can commemorate their first catch with a fun DWR certificate. You can print out the certificate at home and fill in the details to document the occasion.

Anglers should note that while Free Fishing Day waives the requirement for having a fishing license, entrance fees to state parks and other areas will still apply.

Where to go fishing

Local community ponds are a great option for a quick, close-to-home fishing spot. These ponds are a particularly good place to take kids and other less experienced anglers. There are 57 located around Utah, and more information about each one can be found on the DWR website. Many of the community ponds have been stocked recently with rainbow trout, and some will be stocked with channel catfish a few days before Free Fishing Day, as well. Anglers who would prefer a different experience can visit the Fish Utah map on the DWR website to find nearby lakes and reservoirs and to figure out where to go if they want to fish for a particular species.

For anyone looking for some competition, the Ashley National Forest is partnering with DWR to host a Free Fishing Day kids fishing derby at the Lower Stillwater Ponds in Duchesne County. The event will be held on June 11 from 9 a.m. to noon at the Pier Pond, located on the west side of the pond complex. Participants can get fishing demonstrations and can win some great prizes. Fishing equipment will be provided at the event, but it is encouraged to bring your own gear if you have it.

Learn the rules

You don't need a license to fish on June 11, but the other fishing rules in Utah will still be in effect. Make sure you know the catch limits and other rules for the waterbody you are fishing. The rules are available in the 2022 Utah Fishing Guidebook. And wherever you go fishing on Free Fishing Day, remember to recreate responsibly by packing out what you pack in and keeping the area free of trash.

Buy a license

Although you don't need a fishing license on Free Fishing Day, a fishing license is required to fish any other day of the year. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase and can be purchased online, at any DWR office or from a DWR license agent.

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