Arizona's annual free fishing day will be celebrated June 11 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week.
On Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.
"This is a great chance to grab some poles, gather up some friends and family members, and head out to your nearest urban lake or head up to the cooler country to fish a lake or stream," said Rory Aikens, editor of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Weekly Fishing Report.
Keep in mind that Arizona is in high fire season, and forest fires are currently affecting certain parts of the state. Please check on fire and weather conditions before heading out.
Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on Free Fishing Day. Kids under age 14 can fish for free all year long in Arizona, so this special fishing license exemption day means that the older kids and parents get a free pass for the day. Try fishing, you'll like it!
The Arizona Game and Fish Department will sponsor a number of Free Fishing Day events to give people the opportunity to try out this fun, family-oriented pastime. Loaner fishing rods, bait and instruction are provided for free at most of these venues. Times and locations are:
Saturday, June 4, Mormon Lake Lodge Pond (south of Flagstaff), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. As part of the Outdoor Festival at Mormon Lake, the Arizona Game and Fish Department Flagstaff region, in cooperation with Mormon Lake Lodge, is offering a free fishing event among other outdoor activities for the whole family. For more information, contact the Game and Fish Flagstaff office at (928) 774-5045.
Saturday, June 4, Dead Horse Ranch State Park (near Cottonwood), 8 a.m. to noon. Game and Fish staff, in cooperation with Arizona State Parks, will be on hand with loaner fishing gear, but you are encouraged to bring your own if you have it. The entrance fee into the park will be waived for the participants. Catfish will be stocked prior to the event. For more information, contact Dead Horse Ranch State Park at (928) 634-5283.
Parker Canyon Lake (near Elgin), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free fishing event will be part of the National Get Outdoors Day event held at Parker Canyon Lake, in cooperation with Game and Fish, the USDA Forest Service, and other agencies and conservation groups. The elevation of Parker Canyon Lake is 5,400 feet, so the weather will be several degrees cooler than Tucson. Camping and boat rentals are available for a fee at Parker Canyon Lake; call the store for more information at (520) 455-5847. For further information about the free fishing event, please contact Wildlife Manager Karen Klima at (520) 975-6490.
Goldwater Lake (near Prescott), 8 a.m. to noon. The Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman region and the City of Prescott are planning a day of free fishing for the whole family. Staff will be on hand to assist anglers. Bait will be provided and loaner rods will be available. For more information, please call the Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman office at (928) 692-7700.
Garrett Tank (near Seligman), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be demonstrations on casting, baiting, cleaning, and cooking catfish. The weather can be variable, so dress in layers. Sunscreen is recommended. Loaner poles and bait will be available for use. For further information, please contact Wildlife Technician Jennifer Cordova at (928) 422-0155.
Roper Lake (near Safford), 7 a.m. to noon. This event, done in cooperation with Arizona State Parks, is open to all without any fees or prior registration for the fishing, and there will be rods/reels, bait, and other gear available for participants to use. Park entrance fees still apply. Participants will need to supply any food and drinks they might require. Weather can be warm this time of year, so be sure to bring sun screen and come on out and enjoy fishing at one of Arizona's premier state parks. For more information, please contact Wildlife Manager Devin Skinner at (520) 591-7880.
For information on fishing in Arizona, visit www.azgfd.gov/fish.