Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) Commissioner designates a “Free Fishing Day” for the public to fish recreationally in public waters without a fishing license each year. Commissioner M. Barnett Lawley has designated Saturday, June 7, 2008, as this year’s Free Fishing Day. The law, approved by the Alabama Legislature, allows an annual free day of fishing when residents and non-residents may fish without a fishing license.
“The annual Free Fishing Day is the perfect opportunity for non-anglers to test the fishing waters and to remind former anglers of all the fun they’ve been missing,” said Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division Chief of Fisheries Stan Cook. “It’s also a great opportunity for kids to get out and learn how fun and exciting fishing is, plus the day gives families a chance to do something together outdoors.”
According to the law, the usual fishing license requirement – both freshwater and saltwater – is exempt on that day only. However, some lakes or piers may still require fees and permits, and owner’s permission is required to fish private ponds.
Marine Resources Division Director R. Vernon Minton encourages saltwater anglers to cast a line and try their luck on June 7. “This is a great opportunity for people who have never fished in saltwater to see what it’s like,” said Minton. “We also encourage seasoned saltwater anglers to introduce new anglers to the sport.”
Those interested in saltwater fishing may pick up the free Alabama Marine Information Calendar featuring information on moon phases, sunset and sunrise times, Alabama’s artificial reef program, license schedules, fish creel limits, a tidal calendar, and much more. The calendars are available at the two Marine Resources offices located on Dauphin Island, 251-861-2882 and in Gulf Shores, 251-968-7576.
Several events, sponsored by the ADCNR Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division as part of the Community Fishing Program with support from local community partners, are planned around the State as a part of Free Fishing Day, June 7. These special fishing events,
held during National Fishing & Boating Week, June 1-8, provide opportunities for families and friends to share fun and quality time together while learning about one of the Nation's favorite pastimes.
Free Freshwater Fishing Day Events Scheduled Statewide
16th Annual Fishing Rodeo – Auburn Technology Park South Lake, Auburn – for youth ages 12 and younger accompanied by an adult (adult fee $5) – 8 a.m. until noon – contact Alison Hall, Auburn Parks and Recreation at 334-501-2940.
Kids’ Fish Fest – Pratt Park, Prattville – free ticket needed – 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. & noon until 3 p.m. – contact the Prattville Department of Leisure Services at 334-381-3640.
11th Annual Family Fishing Rodeo – East Lake, Birmingham – 7 a.m. until 1 p.m. – contact Birmingham Parks and Recreation at 205-254-2391.
Corps of Engineers Kids Fishing Event – Lowndes County Wildlife Management Area – 8 a.m. until noon – contact John Williams, Corps of Engineers at 334-872-9554.
Enterprise Kid’s Fishing Event – Enterprise Park upper pond, Enterprise – 8 a.m. until noon – contact Warren Bowron at 334-347-1211 ext. 300.
Greenville Kid’s Fishing Event – pond next to the American Legion, Greenville – 8 a.m. until noon – contact the Greenville Sheriffs Dept. at 334-382-6521.
Conecuh National Forest Kid’s Fishing Event – Ditch Pond – contact Conecuh National Forest at 334-222-2555.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit www.outdooralabama.com