Saturday, June 10 is Free Fishing Day. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG) invites veteran and novice anglers of all ages (residents and nonresidents alike) to celebrate the day by fishing any public waters in Idaho without a license. Although fishing license requirements are suspended for this special day, all other rules remain in effect. These include such rules as bag and length limits or special fishing regulations. Regulations brochures are available free at local sporting goods stores. Free fishing day provides a great opportunity for novices to give fishing a try and perhaps develop a life-long pursuit. Parents are encouraged to bring their children out for a day of fun and excitement at this annual event.
To help beginning anglers, the IDFG is sponsoring a number of fishing clinics throughout the Panhandle. Fish and Game personnel will be on hand to answer questions and help beginning anglers learn about terminal tackle, casting and fishing techniques, and fish identification. Some fishing tackle and bait will be available for persons who don't have their own gear.
Six clinics have been scheduled in the Idaho Panhandle, convenient to most people in the region. While they are oriented toward beginning anglers, all new anglers are welcomed to attend.
Clinics are scheduled in Coeur d'Alene at Ponderosa Springs Golf Course from 7-11 a.m. They have generously agreed to close the course for that four hour period for the tenth straight year, so youngsters will have a chance to catch their first fish. Anderson Ranch Pond five miles south of St. Maries on Hwy 3 will be the site of another clinic from 9 a.m.-12 noon. This is a privately owned water the owners are opening for Free Fishing Day clinics. The IDFG Mullan Fish Hatchery, Round Lake State Park south of Sandpoint, Bonners Ferry Lions Club Pond, and the IDFG Clark Fork Hatchery will all be clinic sites as well, from 9 a.m.-noon.
As we would like to see everyone catch fish, rainbow trout are being stocked in each location for the clinics and should provide for good fishing. Limited equipment will be available for use, however, anyone with tackle of their own is encouraged to bring it along. In past years some folks have had to wait for others to finish fishing so they could use the limited equipment.