“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 7.
Utah’s community fishing ponds are another good place to try. Before June 7, 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. You can learn more about Utah’s community fishing ponds at www.wildlife.utah.gov/cf.
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 7, 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 2014 Utah Fishing Guidebook and learn the rules. The free guidebook is available at www.wildlife.utah.gov/guidebooks. 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.
For more information, e-mail Marni Lee with the Division of Wildlife Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.extension.usu.edu/waterquality/htm/annual-events/briverceleb.
You can “Fish with a Cop” from 10 a.m. to noon at this pond located just west of Legacy Highway in Bountiful.
DWR conservation officers and officers with the Woods Cross Police Department will be available to provide fishing instruction and help you catch fish.
The event is free. Bait will be provided. If you have your own fishing rod and reel, please bring it. If you don’t, no problem—rods and reels will be available for you to use.
For more information, call the DWR’s Ogden office at 801-476-2740.
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.
Also, if you don’t have much experience casting, a station will be set up where you can practice casting a rubber plug at a target. After some practice, you’ll be casting like a pro!
Spanish Fork will host its 35th Annual Huck Finn Day Fishing Event from 9 a.m. to noon at Canyon View Park Pond.
The pond is at 3300 E. Powerhouse Road, next to the Spanish Oaks golf course.
The DWR will stock trout into the pond before the event. Several prizes will be awarded between 9 a.m. and noon.
Boys are encouraged to come to the event dressed like Huck Finn. Girls are encouraged to dress like Becky Thatcher. Prizes will be given for the best costume in each category.
For more information, visit www.spanishfork.org or call 801-804-4600.
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:
- Matt Warner in Uintah County, 9 a.m. to noon.
- Moose Ponds in Daggett County, 9 a.m. to noon.
- Lower Stillwater Ponds on Rock Creek in Duchesne County, 9 a.m. to noon.
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 all three sites for those who don’t have a pole but would like to try fishing. 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 Carbon County Fairgrounds pond, located in Price. The event is free.
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 free donuts, hot chocolate and coffee.
For more information, call Brent Stettler at the DWR office in Price at 435-613-3707.