July 6 is the first of two Free Fishing Days in 2013, when people can try their hand at fishing without having to buy a sport fishing license.
All fishing regulations, such as bag and size limits, gear restrictions, report card requirements, fishing hours and stream closures remain in effect. Every angler must have an appropriate report card if they are fishing for steelhead or sturgeon anywhere in the state, or salmon in the Smith and Klamath-Trinity River systems.
CDFW offers two Free Fishing Days each year – usually around the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend – when it’s legal to fish without a sport fishing license. This year, Free Fishing Days are set for the Saturdays following Independence Day and Labor Day (July 6 and Sept. 7). Note that on the Sept. 7 Free Fishing Day, ocean fishermen must have an abalone report card in their possession when rock picking or diving for abalone, but no fishing license is required (the abalone season is closed during the month of July).
Free Fishing Days provide a low-cost way to give fishing a try. Some CDFW regions offer a Fishing in the City program where anglers can go fishing in major metropolitan areas. Fishing in the City and Free Fishing Day clinics are designed to educate novice anglers about fishing ethics, fish habits, effective methods for catching fish and fishing tackle. Anglers can even learn how to clean and prepare fish for eating.
Anglers should check the rules and regulations at www.dfg.ca.gov/regulations for the waters they plan to fish. Wardens will be on duty to enforce them. For more information on Free Fishing Days, please visit www.dfg.ca.gov/licensing/fishing/freefishdays.html.