June 9 is Free Fishing Day in Utah. You don’t need a fishing license to fish in the state that day.
Randy Oplinger says Free Fishing Day is a great day not only for beginning anglers but for experienced anglers too. “Because you don’t need a license to fish that day,” says Oplinger, sport fisheries coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, “it’s the perfect time to take someone fishing with you and introduce them to the sport. And, if you don’t have a license, it’s the perfect time to pick up a fishing pole and give fishing a try.”
Free Fishing Day is traditionally held at the start of June. “Early June is one of the best times to fish in Utah,” Oplinger says. “All of the fish in the state, both warm water fish and cold water fish, are active and willing to bite this time of the year.”
If you don’t have any fishing equipment—or you do, but you’d like some help fishing—special events are the place to be.
“At most of the events,” Oplinger says, “equipment will be available for you to use. And volunteers will be on hand to help you and your kids fish. Also, many of these waters will be stocked with fish before the event, so there should be plenty of fish to catch.”
In southeastern Utah, there is a Wildlife & Wardens event at the Carbon County Community Fishing Pond from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The pond is in Price at 450 S. Fairgrounds Road. Division of Wildlife Resources’ conservation officers and Carbon County Sheriff’s deputies will be available to help young anglers catch fish. Youngsters can also shoot bows and arrows and learn about wildlife at several learning stations. Lunch will be provided.
If you’re going to pick up a rod and reel and fish on your own on June 9, wildlife officials advise people to hop on the Internet before June 9 and check out the many instructional websites and videos that teach the basics of fishing. A good place to start is www.takemefishing.org/how-to-fish/how-to-catch-fish.
You’ll likely have company on June 9, but waters in communities across Utah—called community fishing ponds—are great places for beginning anglers to fish, Oplinger says. The ponds are close to home, most have restrooms and other facilities, and many of them will be stocked with channel catfish—averaging 14 inches long—before June 9.
You can learn more about the ponds at www.wildlife.utah.gov/fishing-in-utah/community-fisheries.html.
While folks don’t need a license to fish on June 9 remaining fishing rules in Utah will be in effect. They are available in the 2018 Utah Fishing Guidebook which you can get for free at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks.
“If you have questions about a rule or about fishing in Utah,” Oplinger says, “please give our offices a call. We’d be happy to help you.”