IDAHO FALLS – For a number of years, Free Fishing Day in Idaho Falls has meant lots of fun for kids catching fish in the portion of Willow Creek located in Freeman Park. Idaho Fish & Game (IDFG) would barricade a section of the creek to contain planted hatchery fish and the Elks Clubs would help kids experience the thrill of catching a fish, but this year water condition are just too high for safety or to allow for good fishing. Thanks to a bargain struck between IDFG and Idaho Falls Power, the Gem State Kids Pond will be opened early and all the fish that would have been planted in Willow Creek will instead be stocked at the pond. The Gem State Kids Pond is located south of Idaho Falls, near the Bonneville / Bingham County line.
While kids under the age of 14 always get to fish for free, Free Fishing Day is the one time each year when adults too can fish without a license. This year the event falls on Saturday, June 11th. While all other regulations still apply, this incredible opportunity is open to everyone (except those who have had their fishing privileges revoked), and you don’t even have to be a resident to participate!
While everyone gets to fish free, the real point of the day is to help expose kids to the fun of fishing. All of the official sites will have experienced staff and volunteers on hand to help newcomers get started! Folks planning to take advantage of free fishing day should remember that all other fishing regulations remain intact and fees are still charged for camping in the state parks.
IDFG staff, volunteers and other civic groups will be on hand at the following fishing spots help teach youngsters to tie fishing knots, bait hooks, and cast properly. All the sites will have loaner poles to help kids get started, along with a generous supply of worms for bait. It is important that a parent or guardian accompany all children. Adults and single-parent families are strongly encouraged to come and learn more about our proud national fishing heritage.
I.F. Area – Gem State Kids Pond –
South of Idaho Falls at the Bonneville / Bingham County line. Adults welcome to fish too!
Rexburg Area – Rexburg City ponds west of fair grounds
Victor Area – Trail Creek Kids Pond
Ashton Hatchery – By reservation only, call IDFG for info 208-525-7290
Island Park – Mill Creek Pond on Yale/Kilgore Road
High water conditions also means that the Take Me Fishing Trailer events scheduled for the Idaho Falls Greenbelt on June 13 & 15 will be moved to the Gem State Kids Pond, but hosted at the same times as advertised. During these events the pond will be open to angling enthusiasts of all ages, not just kids!
Greg Losinski (208) 390-0635