Places to go fishing on Free Fishing Day 2023 in Utah
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Father teaching daughter how to fish at a community pond

Places to go fishing on Free Fishing Day 2023 in Utah

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.

Father teaching daughter how to fish at a community pond

This year, Free Fishing Day will be held on Saturday, June 10, and it's a day when anyone can fish at any public waterbody in Utah without a license. It makes for a great family activity and offers an easy way 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."

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 community ponds located around Utah, and more information about each one can be found on the DWR website. Many of the community ponds will be stocked with rainbow trout a few days before Free Fishing Day. To help maintain good fishing through the hot, summer months, the DWR will also stock channel catfish into several community ponds around the state.

In addition to the community ponds, Utah has hundreds of lakes and reservoirs and thousands of miles of streams that offer great fishing. If you prefer a fishing experience that is more remote — or at a larger waterbody — you can visit the Fish Utah map on the DWR website to find a fishing spot with the qualities you're seeking.

Learn the rules

You don't need a license to fish on June 10, 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 2023 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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