Department of Fish and Game
September 17, 2003
Contacts: Ethan Rotman, South Bay Fishing in the City Coordinator,
(415) 892-0460; Troy Swauger, Information Officer, (916)
Second Free Fishing Day set for Sept. 27
The second of two annual Free Fishing Days on all California waterways is
Saturday, Sept. 27, once again allowing people to become acquainted with
angling without the cost of purchasing a license.
The California Department of Fish and Game (DFG) explains that on Free
Fishing Days anglers are not required to carry a sports fishing license or
stamps. However all other regulations, such as season and bag limits remain
in effect. "California offers plentiful and varied aquatic resources, from
high mountain lakes, streams and rivers, to hundreds of miles of access to
the Pacific Ocean," said Ethan Rotman, coordinator of DFG's South Bay
Fishing in the City program. The state offers 4,800 lakes and reservoirs, 80
major rivers with nearly 30,000 miles of river and stream banks, and more
than 1,100 miles of coastline.
"Fishing provides a positive experience that the entire family can enjoy
together," Rotman said. "Surveys conducted by fishing associations show that
Americans believe fishing and boating are the best ways to spend quality
time with their families."
Introduced nationally in the early 1970s through a Presidential resolution,
the first of two free fishing days accompanies National Fishing Week in
June. The second free fishing opportunity coincides with National Hunting
and Fishing Day, routinely set for the fourth Saturday in September.
California and New Mexico are the only two states west of the Mississippi
that hold two annual Free Fishing Days.
The Department's Urban Fishing Program, which started in 1993, serves
Californians living in the Sacramento, San Francisco Bay and Los Angeles
metropolitan areas. The program's Fishing in the City clinics gives city
dwellers an opportunity to learn how to fish, and to fish close to home. It
also gives participants an opportunity to borrow rods, bait and tackle
through the Tackle Loaner Program. Clinics help educate people about fish
habits, proven methods of catching fish, and the tackle needed.
In the San Francisco Bay Area, the Department's South Bay Fishing in the
City program will sponsor a free learn-to-fish clinic at Vasona County Park
in Los Gatos. While there is no admission fee, there is a park entrance fee.
DFG will offer a 40-minute clinic that covers casting, safety, ethics,
rigging, and pollution. The program will provide all tackle and equipment,
and will plant catfish at specific areas prior to the event. For more
information, contact Rotman at (415) 892-0460.
In Sacramento, DFG has a fishing clinic from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Free
Fishing Day at William Land Park. The clinic, held at the pond across from
the Sacramento Zoo on Land Park Drive, will include free loans of rods, bait
and tackle. The Department has stocked 300 pounds of channel catfish for the
event. Also during the Free Fishing Day weekend, DFG will stock catfish in
eight other Sacramento area ponds, including Southside Park, Gibson Ranch,
Howe, Hagan, North Laguna, Elk Grove, Oak Grove, and Mather. For more
information, contact (916) 358-1644.
In Southern California, DFG will partnership with Los Angeles County at
Hollenbeck Park to hold a learn-to-fish clinic from 8 a.m. to noon. DFG and
the county will stock the lake with channel catfish prior to Free Fishing
Day. A second how-to-fish clinic will be from 8 a.m. to noon at the Santa Fe
Dam Recreational Area, off the 605 Freeway in San Dimas. DFG will stock
catfish prior to the day. There is a charge for parking at the recreational
As an added bonus at the Hollenbeck Park event, anyone participating in the
clinic will receive "The Definitive Guide to Fishing in Southern
California," by author Chris Shaffer. Shaffer's guide lists 135 lakes,
rivers and streams, offers a rating system, accurate directions and updated
stocking information. It even lists the best times to fish.
For information about the Urban Fishing Program in the Los Angeles
metropolitan areas, call (562) 342-7148.
For more information on fishing programs, go to DFG's Web page: http://www.dfg.ca.gov/coned/fishcity.html
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