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By Mike Porras
Special to The SUN
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is reminding the public that Colorado’s Free Fishing Weekend is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, June 7 and 8. Anglers of all ages can fish without a license anywhere in the state that weekend.
Many states allow free fishing during one or two weekends each year in an effort to encourage more people to discover and enjoy one of the most popular of all outdoor activities. According to a recent survey by Southwick Associates, fishing is not only a popular recreational activity in Colorado, it is a major economic driver for the state, contributing over $1.9 billion each year to the state’s economy.
“Colorado certainly offers tremendous fishing opportunities,” said aquatic section manager Greg Gerlich. “However, we know that there are many people that have thought about it, but for whatever reason, have not bought a license. With a chance to fish for free, they may see how enjoyable an experience it can be, then maybe they’ll decide to buy a license and enjoy it year-round.”
Gerlich reminds citizens that hunting and fishing license dollars fund a breadth of wildlife management efforts in Colorado.
“Without our anglers and hunters, we would not have the variety and abundance of wildlife we enjoy here,” he said. “After a weekend of fishing for free, some individuals may decide to become lifelong sportsmen and women, contributing directly to wildlife conservation.”
From reservoirs, lakes and ponds to rivers and high-altitude streams, Colorado is a highly regarded fishing destination. The state features nearly 9,000 miles of trout streams, 321 miles of which are designated Gold Medal waters and managed for high-quality fishing.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife reminds the public that although a license is not required that weekend, all other rules and regulations will apply. Anglers should consult the 2014 Colorado Fishing Brochure for specific regulations and restrictions for the waters 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 by calling (800) 244-5613. Anyone purchasing over the phone will be issued a TAN, or Transaction Number, that they must write down and carry with them on their fishing trip.
To purchase licenses or for more information about fishing and access to the online version of the fishing brochure, go to www.cpw.state.co.us/thingstodo/Pages/Fishing.aspx.
For more information about Colorado Parks and Wildlife, go to cpw.state.co.us.