Great News for Free Fishing; Scheduling Error in Your Favor, Get 2 Free Fishing Days

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Great News for Free FishingPHOENIX – Unlicensed anglers in Arizona are getting an unexpected late spring windfall – you can fish state waters without a valid fishing license on both June 7 and June 14 this year, said Arizona Game and Fish Department officials.

“Since there has been some confusion on the ‘real’ free fishing day – June 7 or June 14 – we decided that the only fair decision is to allow anglers to fish state waters on either of those Saturdays without a valid Arizona fishing license,” said Fisheries Chief Kirk Young.

Here’s the story.

Eight years ago, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) took National Fishing Week in early June, (which was a seven-day event) and created National Fishing and Boating Week, which is typically a 10-day event that includes two Saturdays. Each year, Arizona would set the second Saturday in June as free fishing day.

That is why the current fishing regulations for Arizona, which cover a two-year period, says free fishing day for 2008 is June 14.

However, RBFF scheduled the 2008 National Fishing and Boating Week for June 1-8, which is only eight days and one Saturday – June 7.

That created some confusion, even within the Arizona Game and Fish Department itself. Some free fishing day events were set up for June 7, while others were scheduled for June 14 as it says in the regulations. For a list of the fishing clinics, visit and click on the link for free fishing day events.

“On the bright side, this is the perfect year to have two free fishing days,” Young said.

He explained that thanks to exceptional snow pack and runoff, most of our lakes are full of water. “This is an exceptional fishing year. Free fishing day gives you the chance to get out there and sample it, twice if you like, then maybe you’ll consider joining our growing cadre of licensed anglers,” Young said.

Arizona’s free fishing day covers all state waters, including Urban Program Lakes, and along the Arizona shoreline of the Colorado River. The state free fishing day does not extend to tribal waters.

By the way, for 2009 the National Fishing and Boating Week will revert to 10 days and two Saturdays again, (June 6-14, 2009).