The fish are starting to bite at waters all around the state. To give everyone an opportunity to get out and get some hits, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting anglers of all ages to participate in its annual Free Fishing Weekend, June 1-2.
Each year, the agency designates the first weekend in June as the only two-day period that anglers all around the state are not required to have a fishing license. For the rest of the year a fishing license is required for anyone 16 years and older.
"The free fishing weekend is a great way to get outside with family and friends and take advantage of Colorado's extensive opportunities to fish for a myriad of cold and warm water fish species without having to worry about possessing a license," said Greg Gerlich, aquatic section manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "This is the perfect opportunity for anglers to introduce a friend, family member and, especially, children to one of America's favorite activities. If people are wondering where to go to fish, there are an abundance of publicly accessible waters across the state. But many people need look no further than our Colorado state parks."
A recent survey of resident and non-resident anglers revealed a high level of satisfaction with fishing experiences in Colorado. Anglers said they especially like to pursue the numerous trout species available in state waters. The majority of fish caught in Colorado are stocked by the agency, and each year more than 3 million catchable-sized trout and 14 million trout fingerlings are stocked into the more than 2,000 lakes, ponds and reservoirs around the state.
While fishing licenses are not required during free fishing weekend, all other regulations remain in effect. Anglers should consult the 2013 Colorado Fishing brochure for specific regulations and restrictions for the waters where they'll be fishing.
Fishing licenses can be purchased at any Colorado Parks and Wildlife office or from one of the more than 600 license agents across the state. Licenses can also be purchased online. Anglers may also purchase a fishing license over the phone and receive a temporary authorization number allowing them to fish immediately by calling 800-244-5613.
For more information on state fishing regulations, the current Colorado fishing brochure is available at license retail locations and online. An interactive version of the brochure available on the web site provides links to maps and useful videos for beginning to experienced anglers.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife produces a weekly fishing report that includes information about fishing conditions and stocking activity around the state, and a fishing atlas about places to go fishing. Find those at: http://wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/Pages/Fishing.aspx.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, more than 300 state wildlife areas, all of Colorado's wildlife, and a variety of outdoor recreation. For more information go to cpw.state.co.us.