Making the best of Saturday’s Free Fishing Day

Community fisheries like Wellsville Pond would be great place to fish. DWR has recently stocked or will stock all of the local ponds and streams for anglers.

It’s Free Fishing Day this Saturday, June 8, and all of the public streams, rivers, ponds and lakes will likely be filled with people and poles trying to land a lunker.

Jaxon Newman, 15, fishes from one of the bridges on the Wellsville Pond. Fishing Day will be this Saturday, June 8, and all of the public streams, rivers, ponds are open to anyone to fish.

The Utah Department of Wildlife Resources is trying to ensure everyone has a successful outing.

Randy Oplinger, sport fisheries coordinator for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, said Free Fishing Day makes for a great family activity and is the perfect time to introduce your kids to fishing and get them outdoors.

“This is a great time to introduce someone to fishing — or to give fishing a try, but don’t have a fishing license — Free Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity.”

The day is not only great 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 fishing with you and introduce them to the sport,” Oplinger said. “And, early June is one of the best times to fish in Utah. All of the fish in the state, both warmwater and coldwater fish, are active and willing to bite this time of the year.”

There are a host of places to buy fishing supplies in Cache Valley. Rods, reels and other equipment can be found at many box stores and convenience stores.

Dustin Smith, Al’s Sporting Goods fishing department manager, said they do a brisk fishing business all year but things ramp up from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

“We do a really brisk fishing business,” Smith said. “We sell a lot of fly fishing equipment and family-oriented spinning equipment for fishing all the area waters.”

He said all of the staff in the fishing department are familiar with local waters, where to go and what works best.

Cole Combe, who works in the fishing department at Al’s Sporting Goods, shows one of the many fishing flies they have in stock. Area sporting good stores should have people available to talk about where to go and what to use for bait.

“All of our team are avid fishermen,” he said. “They are all experienced and can point out some of the places to go and how to fish those areas to be successful.”

Gary Howes, hatchery manager at the Fish Experiment Station in Logan, said pretty much anywhere in the valley has recently, or will be, stocked for Free Fishing Day.

“Smithfield Creek, the Logan River, First, Second, and Third Dams have been stocked recently,” he said. “Wellsville and Casper’s Pond will be stocked before June 8.

There are a lot of fish out there. Fishing should be hot,” he said.

Idaho is also having a Free Fishing Day on Saturday as an annual event. It is generally held the second Saturday every June. All anglers, residents and nonresidents, can celebrate the day by fishing Idaho’s waters without a license.

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