Field Notes
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Field Notes Entry   
Free Fishing in the SW for National Fishing and Boating Week
Southwest Region, June 3, 2011
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National Fishing and Boating Week is June 4-12, and free fishing derbies have been set up across the nation for your enjoyment!  No fishing licenses will be required for these special events. Come and celebrate with friends and family at one of the many free fishing day activities planned in your area.  Several of the events being held in the southwest are listed here, but be aware that there may be others.  Don’t miss out on this fun and free way to celebrate our nation’s most precious gift- the great outdoors- with the ones you love. 




Saturday, June 4, Mormon Lake Lodge Pond (south of Flagstaff), 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. As part of the Outdoor Festival at Mormon Lake, the Arizona Game and Fish Department, in cooperation with Mormon Lake Lodge, is offering a free fishing event among other outdoor activities for the whole family. For more information, contact the Game and Fish Flagstaff office at (928) 774-5045.


Saturday, June 4, Dead Horse Ranch State Park (near Cottonwood), 8 a.m. to noon. Game and Fish staff, in cooperation with Arizona State Parks, will be on hand with loaner fishing gear, but you are encouraged to bring your own if you have it. The entrance fee into the park will be waived for all participants. Catfish will be stocked prior to the event. For more information, contact Dead Horse Ranch State Park at (928) 634-5283.


Saturday, June 4, Silverbell Lake (Tucson), 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. Located at Christopher Columbus park on Silverbell Rd. between Ruthrauff and Grant. Catfish will have been stocked that week. Other fish found in the lake are largemouth bass and bluegills. For further information, please contact Wildlife Manager Diane Tilton, (520) 975-6149.


Saturday, June 4, Rose Canyon Lake (Mt. Lemmon area near Tucson), 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is no registration fee or signup for the clinic, which is held by Game and Fish in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service. On this day, the fee for Mount Lemmon and the campground will be waived. Parking is limited. The lake was last stocked with rainbow trout in the second week of May. For further information, please contact Wildlife Manager Martin Guerena, (520) 591-6307.


Saturday, June 4, Yellow Pine Ranch (near Kingman). Note: Space for this event is limited, and the event is nearly full. Pre-registration is required through the Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman office at 5325 N. Stockton Hill Road in Kingman; call first at (928) 692-7700.


Saturday, June 11, Parker Canyon Lake (near Elgin), 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The free fishing event will be part of the National Get Outdoors Day event held at Parker Canyon Lake, in cooperation with Game and Fish, the USDA Forest Service, and other agencies and conservation groups. The elevation of Parker Canyon Lake is 5,400 feet, so the weather will be several degrees cooler than Tucson. Camping and boat rentals are available for a fee at Parker Canyon Lake; call the store for more information at (520) 455-5847. For further information about the free fishing event, please contact Wildlife Manager Karen Klima at (520) 975-6490.


Saturday, June 11, Goldwater Lake (near Prescott), 8 a.m. to noon. The Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman region and the City of Prescott are planning a day of free fishing for the whole family. Staff will be on hand to assist anglers. Bait will be provided and loaner rods will be available. For more information, please call the Arizona Game and Fish Department Kingman office at (928) 692-7700.


Saturday, June 11, Garrett Tank (near Seligman), 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Throughout the day, there will be demonstrations on casting, baiting, cleaning, and cooking catfish. The weather can be variable, so dress in layers. Sunscreen is recommended. Loaner poles and bait will be available for use. For further information, please contact Wildlife Technician Jennifer Cordova at (928) 422-0155.


Saturday, June 11, Roper Lake (near Safford), 7 a.m. to noon. This event, done in cooperation with Arizona State Parks, is open to all without any fees or prior registration for the fishing, and there will be rods/reels, bait, and other gear available for participants to use. Park entrance fees still apply. Participants will need to supply any food and drinks they might require. Weather can be warm this time of year, so be sure to bring sun screen and come on out and enjoy fishing at one of Arizona’s premier state parks. For more information, please contact Wildlife Manager Devin Skinner at (520) 591-7880.


New Mexico


Saturday, June 4, Lake Roberts (in the Mimbres Valley), registration begins at 9:00 a.m. The 3rd Annual Aldo Leopold Kids Fishing Derby and Festival is hosted by the Wilderness Ranger District of the Gila National Forest along with several other private and public contributors. Activities include casting fly rods, fly-tying, aquatic insect identification, casting for prizes for young children, Turkey Federation JAKES station, Native Art and a Living Stream Exhibit by the USFWS.  Mora National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center in Mora, New Mexico, is helping to organize and stock fish for Saturday’s event.   For more information, please call the Wilderness Ranger District at (575) 536-2250. 


June 11, Lake Van (just east of Dexter). There will be a free fishing day event held at Lake Van.  Dexter National Fish Hatchery and Technology Center, will be supplying 500 catfish for the event.  Contact the refuge at (575)734-5910.




Saturday, June 4, at the Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery (in Tishomingo), from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. The Tishomingo National Fish Hatchery is hosting its 17th annual Kids Fishing Derby.  The event is for children ages 6 to 12.  Prizes and refreshments will be available.  Contact the Hatchery at (580) 384-5463.




Saturday, June 11, at the Uvalde National Fish Hatchery (Uvalde).  The Hatchery is hosting a Youth Fishing Derby.  Previous fishing derby events have had over 300 area residents in attendance. The event will provide youth the opportunity to catch some hatchery raised channel catfish, while enjoying the outdoors.  Contact the Hatchery at (830) 278-2419.


Saturday, June 4, Galveston Bay (Anahuac), 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  The Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is hosting a free fishing day event.  Fishing poles, bate, and everything else you could need will be provided by the refuge.  Contact the Refuge at (409) 267-3337 ext. 142.


Remember that bag limits and other fishing regulations are in full effect and must be observed on free fishing days. Have fun and catch a big one!

Contact Info: Nicole Haskett, 505-248-6457gov, nicole_haskett@fws.gov
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