TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - You can fish Arizona waters for free this Saturday, making this an ideal time to take the family out for some fun and relaxing outdoor recreation.
Arizona's Free Fishing Day will be celebrated on June 6 this year as part of National Fishing and Boating Week, which runs June 6-14. This Saturday, no fishing licenses are required for persons fishing any public waters in Arizona.
"Whether you're an experienced angler who wants to introduce a newcomer to the sport, or someone who's always been interested but never took that next step, this is an ideal time to gather up some friends and family members and head out to your nearest community lake, or head up to the cooler country to fish a lake or stream," said Nick Walter, editor of the Arizona Game and Fish Department's Weekly Fishing Report.
Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on Free Fishing Days. Kids under the age of 10 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 also sponsor some free fishing day clinics/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.
In addition, as part of National Get Outdoors Day on June 13, the Coronado National Forest will waive the day-use fees associated with many recreation sites or amenities on the forest in celebration of this day.
Day-use fees in the Red Rock Ranger District in the Coconino National Forest also are waved June 13, with the exception of the following sites: Grasshopper Point, Crescent Moon and the West Fork of Oak Creek Trail.
Bait is provided and loaner rods are available for fishing events. Times and locations of the events are:
Saturday, June 6:
•Deadhorse Ranch State Park, Cottonwood, 8 a.m.-noon. Entrance fees for participants are waived during this time period only.
•Garret Tank, Seligman, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to public. No signups.
•Goldwater Lake First Fish Fishing Clinic, Prescott, 9 a.m.-noon.
•Fishing for Smiles clinic at Dunton Ranch pond, Kingman area, 7 a.m.-11 a.m. For kids ages 5-15. Sign-ups were Saturday, May 30.
Saturday, June 13:
•Family Fun Fishing Clinic at Lake Pleasant, 7-10 a.m. Bring the family and come try some fishing. This Arizona Game and Fish Department partnership fishing clinic supplies all equipment and some bait. People who register for the fishing clinic and fish during clinic hours in the designated area do not need fishing license while they are with the ranger. Once inside Lake Pleasant Regional Park, follow the "Family Fun Fishing" signs to the fishing area. Bring shade tents, chairs, water, snacks and bait of your choice. Registration is not required: There is a $6 per vehicle park entry fee. For more information, contact Terry Gerber, Interpretive Ranger, at 602-372-7470 ext. 211. Take Highway 74 to mile post 19, turn onto Castle Hot Springs Rd., then turn right into park and follow signs to program.
•Parker Canyon Lake, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The AZGFD will be conducting a free fishing clinic as part of a National Get Outdoors Day celebration organized by the Coronado National Forest, Sierra Vista Ranger District. Arizona Game and Fish Department personnel will provide free fishing tackle, bait and instruction. Fish in Parker Canyon Lake include rainbow trout, largemouth bass, sunfish and channel catfish. Parker Canyon Lake Marina will offer a discount on fishing tackle. From Tucson, travel east on I-10 to SR 83 and turn right. Continue south on SR 83 through Sonoita approximately 68 miles and follow signs to the lake.