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Cast a fishing line for free in Idaho on Saturday

Idaho Fish and Game will not be hosting this year's event, but officials say it will mostly be the same.
Credit: Deer Flat Refuge

It's that time of the year where Idahoans can cast a line and it won't cost you anything.

Free Fishing Day is set for Saturday, June 12. Anyone can enjoy a day of fishing in Idaho without a license.

Idaho Fish and Game will not be hosting this year's event, but officials say it will mostly be the same.

Usually Fish and Game employees and volunteers bringing fishing gear to various fishing spots and loan rods, reels and tackle and help people learn to fish. While staff will not be hosting any events in 2021, it's still a great opportunity for novice anglers to experience some of the wonderful fishing opportunities Idaho has to offer.

The Gem State has thousands of places to fish, and you can catch a variety of species ranging from palm-sized bluegill to 9-foot sturgeon. 

Fish and Game also stocks about 30 million fish annually for anglers, which includes millions of trout that are immediately available to catch, as well as millions of young salmon and steelhead destined for the ocean that will later return as adults. 

"In the month leading up to Free Fishing Day, Fish and Game hatcheries stocked about 400,000 catchable rainbow trout in waters throughout the state," Fish and Game Hatchery Manager Bryan Grant said. 

Catchable-sized trout ranging from about 10 to 13 inches are stocked statewide and in many easily accessible fishing spots, including community ponds, local reservoirs and nearby lakes. Those are all convenient places to go for Free Fishing Day that are close to home and provide a good chance to catch fish. 

If you don't have fishing gear, it's fairly inexpensive to get started. You can get a basic rod/reel combo for about $25, and the only tackle you need at first is a few hooks, weights, bobbers and bait, which will costly only a few bucks more. 

Fish and Game provides simple instructions on its Learn to Fish webpage

Fishing is a fun family activity, and easy for kids to learn. Remember when taking young kids out to make sure they wear lifejackets and bring lots of snacks, a hat and sunscreen. Be patient with kids and enjoy your time outdoors with them, even if the kids decide they'd rather explore nature or do something other than fishing.

If you're wondering where to fish, go to Fish and Game's Fishing Planner.