Idaho’s Free Fishing Day on June 8 may be weeks away, but now is the time to sign-up if you would like your youngster to be able to have a near 100% chance of success on their first fishing trip. Not all fishing holes can boast a near perfect catch rate, but by going to the source helps. This year again, the Ashton Hatchery will be allowing youth 4-14 to sign-up for a chance to fish the settling pond at the hatchery. The pond is where lots of the older brood stock are put out to pasture, so not only are the chances of catching a fish very good, but the chances of catching a whopper are darn high!

This annual event has become so popular that participants are required to register in advance for one of the 50 slots available each hour. The fishing starts at 8:00 AM and ends at noon. To participate you must call the Idaho Department of Fish & Game Regional Office in Idaho Falls at 208-525-7290 and register or if you have other questions. Adults are allowed to assist children, but cannot register for a space for themselves. According to Hatchery Manager Chris Jeszke, “We supply everything needed for fishing!”

All public waters in the state are open for Free Fishing Day and certain locations will have IDFG staff and volunteer groups available to assist new anglers. Watch for further details as the date draws closer.

In addition to Free Fishing Day, IDFG has created a fleet of “Take Me Fishing” trailers that move around the state providing portable free fishing opportunities. These trailer are staffed to assist new anglers and are loaded with all kinds of loaner gear to help supply those with an interest in learning how to fish. The only requirement is that you check-in at the trailer when you visit the event site. To learn more about dates and locations visit:

Image courtesy Idaho Department of Fish and Game

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