Free Fishing Day is on its way
June 2, 2007
It’s the kind of day that might not change the world, but it could open up a whole new world.
On Saturday, June 9, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) will open all of its waterways to public for Free Fishing Day. It’s a day created to encourage people rediscover one of America’s most beloved pastimes. But for locals, Wasatch Mountain State Park hosts a day that they feel gives children in Summit and Wasatch counties the opportunity to latch onto a hobby that they can enjoy throughout their lives.
According to Park Naturalist Wendy Wilson, the Kids Fishing Event has been held for many years and the numbers continue to grow. This year, they expect about 100 or more young fishermen. The Wasatch Mountain State Park will have a number of DWR staff members and volunteers on hand to go over the basics of fishing with the children and then release them to fish at the park’s pond. Wilson says that kids will learn how to cast, tie a knot, basic fish handling and cleaning and fishing etiquette and technique.
The pond, which has usually been stocked with about four times as many fish as usual for the event will be filled with a whopping 2,000 pounds of rainbow trout. There will also be a drawing for poles, nets and bait for the children.
"This gets kids excited about fishing," Wilson said. "It gets kids outside to experience their parks and forests."
Participants will be allowed to keep up to four of the fish they catch.
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For bigger kids, all area lakes, streams and reservoirs will be open to the public for fishing. Wilson says that for adults, the license-free day gives busy people the opportunity and an excuse to take a break and fish. She says it helps to grow the fishing economy base and encourages people to do more outdoor activity.
Scott Root, DWR Education Coordinator, says it’s a combination of things.
"A lot of people don’t have a lot of time to fish," Root said. "It gets them out there and having fun. We want people to get connected to the wonderful sport of fishing."
Adults will also have limits on the number of fish they can take home according to where they are fishing. Root suggests going online and looking at the official rules proclamation to determine take-home numbers as well as learning all state fishing regulations.
He added that almost all state waters have been stocked with extra fish in anticipation of the day.
For those who have always wanted to try their hands at the rod and reel, some areas will also host adult demonstrations. Root and other DWR employees will also travel to a number of places with extra fishing poles to accommodate rookies to the sport.
"We will have lots of volunteers on hand to help people to fish," Root said.
For those willing to make the drive through Provo Canyon, Utah Lake will be hosting a fishing festival that day. The event will feature boat rides, fishing demonstrations, water skiing shows, canoeing workshops and trips as well as concessions, music and arts and crafts shoreside. There will also be presentations on native species, lake ecosystems and lake stewardship.
Although no license is required on June 9, all other fishing regulations will be in effect. Anglers can go on-line to wildlife.utah.gov/proclamations to obtain a copy of the rules or visit local DWR offices. The "Kids Fishing Event" will be held at Wasatch Mountain State Park pond, about two miles west of Midway. The event runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Space is limited, so children must register in advance by calling Wilson at (435) 654-1791. The fishing tutorial will begin at 9 a.m. After completing the presentation, kids can fish at the pond. Fishing poles, equipment and bait will be available for kids who don’t have their own.
The Utah Lake Festival is free to the public and will be held at Utah Lake State Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fishing equipment is available for checkout at Utah Lake at 7 a.m. For more information about the festival, please visit http://www.junesuckerrecovery.org .