DWR stocks waters for ‘Free Fishing Day,’ Southern Utah events with prizes

ST. GEORGE — Make plans to grab a pole and head to your nearest fishing hole, as fishing in Utah is free all day Saturday; no fishing license is required. The Division of Wildlife Resources has special events planned at some locations with a variety of helps and, in some cases, prizes for participants.

“Make plans now to get out with your family and enjoy a free day of fishing,” DWR Warm Water Sport Fisheries Coordinator Drew Cushing said.

Early June is one of the best times of the year to fish in Utah, he said. Fishing for warm-water fish, including bluegill, catfish, white bass and smallmouth and largemouth bass, is picking up. Trout and other cold-water fish are still active and available to catch.

Brett Barret with daughter on "Free Fishing Day" in St. George, Utah, circa 2005 | Photo courtesy of Brett Barret, St. George News
Brett Barret with daughter on “Free Fishing Day” in St. George, Utah, circa 2005 | Photo courtesy of Brett Barret, St. George News

Best spots for a good catch

Before “Free Fishing Day,” the DWR will place extra fish in waters across Utah. Most of the fish will be placed in lakes and reservoirs, making these good places to try.

Utah’s community fishing ponds are another good place to try. Before Saturday, catfish that average 18 inches in length will be stocked into the ponds.

Catch one of these cats, and you’ll have a fun fight on your hands,” Cushing said.

The DWR will stock catfish in the ponds in June and August. Then, when the temperature cools in the fall, hatchery workers will start placing trout in the ponds.

Learn the rules

You don’t need a license to fish any Utah waters on June 6, but all of the other rules in the state’s fishing guidebook will still be in effect.

You can find the rules in the 2015 Utah Fishing Guidebook available for free online. Copies are also available at DWR offices and from fishing license agents across Utah.

Southern Utah – special DWR events

In Southern Utah, there are three scheduled events Saturday, each from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Prizes will be offered at these events and some equipment will be available to check-out and use.  DWR personnel and volunteers will also be on hand to help youngsters fish and help them keep their hooks baited.

  • Southwestern Utah | Beaver | Little Reservoir
    • To reach Little Reservoir in Beaver, travel east out of Beaver on 200 North — this road becomes state Route 153; the reservoir is 6 miles up Beaver Canyon on the right-hand side of the road
    • Contact DWR’s Cedar City office at 435-865‑6100.
  • Southwestern Utah | Cedar City | Leigh Hill Reservoir
    • Leigh Hill Reservoir is one of Utah’s community fisheries; to reach it, follow Cedar City’s Royal Hunt Drive to the top of Leigh Hill
    • Contact DWR’s Cedar City office at 435-865‑6100.
  • Southwestern Utah | Hurricane | Grandpa’s Pond
    • Grandpa’s Pond is one of Utah’s community fisheries; to reach it, follow State Street in Hurricane to the west of town, and turn north on 3700 West, continuing until the pavement ends
    • Contact Lynn Chamberlain at 435-680‑0059.

Central and Northern Utah – special DWR events

  • East-Central Utah | Wellington | Knight-Ideal Community Fishing Pond
    • A free fishing day event will be held from 8-11 a.m. at the Knight-Ideal Community Fishing Pond, 850 E. 300 South in Wellington
    • The DWR will stock the pond before the event
    • DWR staff will provide rods, reels and bait, along with supervision and instruction
    • Anglers under the age of 14 will receive a free prize.
    • Contact: Brent Stettler 435-613-3707.
  • North-Central Utah | Provo | Utah Lake State Park
    • The annual “Utah Lake Festival” will be held at Utah State Park, 4400 W. Center St. in Provo, with free fishing activities for anglers of all ages
    • Volunteers from the Salt Lake County Fish and Game Association will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to help anglers catch fish in the lake, including bluegill, catfish, crappie and bass
    • If you don’t have your own fishing equipment and bait, you can borrow both from the volunteers from the fish and game association
    • A station will be set up where you can practice casting a rubber plug at a target
    • Contact DWR’s Springville office at 801-491-5678.
  • Northern Utah | Logan | Skylar’s Pond
    • The “Bear River Celebration” and “Free Fishing Day” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the pond in Willow Park at 450 W. 700 South in Logan
    • People of all ages can enjoy free fishing at the pond
    • New this year, you can fish with a cop; Cache Valley law enforcement officers will be available to help first-time anglers fish
    • Fishing equipment will be available to check out and use
    • Special interactive activity booths will be available for ages 4 to 18; the first 200 youths who visit the booths and complete their “Bear River Adventure Passport” will receive a free gift
    • The interactive booths will give young people a chance to discover the joys of fishing and learn the importance of good water quality and responsible recreation in the Bear River watershed; they can tie their own fishing fly, experience how rivers and streams are formed, explore the lifecycles of fish, go “buggy over bugs,” stamp ink prints of fish and much more
    • Contact: Marni Lee by email or online.
  • Northern Utah | Bountiful | Bountiful Lake
    • You can “Fish with a Cop” from 10 a.m. to noon at Bountiful Lake located just west of Legacy Highway in Bountiful
    • DWR conservation officers and officers with the Woods Cross Police Department will be available to provide fishing instruction and help you catch fish
    • If you have your own fishing rod and reel, please bring it; rods and reels will be available for anglers without equipment
    • This event is free and bait will be provided
    • Contact: James Abbott 801-698-9068 or Stephanie Gonzales 801-678-6002
  • Northeastern Utah 
    • Two free fishing day events, for anglers of all ages, will be held in northeastern Utah from 9 a.m. to noon:
      • Moose Ponds in Daggett County
      • Lower Stillwater Ponds on Rock Creek in Duchesne County
    • If you have your own fishing pole, you’re encouraged to bring it to the events; a limited number of poles will be available at both sites for those who don’t have a pole but would like to try fishing
    • Personnel from the sponsoring agencies will be on-site to answer questions about fish and fishing, and to help anglers catch fish
    • The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management are sponsoring the events.
    • Contact DWR’s Vernal office at 435-781-9453


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