Come catch trout for free from 3 to 5 p.m. on Nov. 22, by attending the Welcome Back the Trout Celebration at Tempe Town Lake and signing up for the Arizona Game and Fish Department’s fishing clinic.

Those signed up for the clinic don’t need a fishing license. Keep in mind that youth under age 14 fish for free — all year long in Arizona.

“It’s a good opportunity to catch trout for free just before Thanksgiving,” said Rory Aikens, the fishing report editor for the Game and Fish Department. “You can even help stock trout at 3 p.m. and get hands-on fishing tips from the professional anglers from Cabela’s and Bass Pro during the clinic.”

With any luck, you might even be chosen by Tempe’s major to help stock the first wiggling netfull of rainbows.

“It’s great to see hundreds of people at Tempe Town Lake each year when, along with Arizona Game and Fish, we stock the lake with rainbow trout,” Tempe Mayor Hugh Hallman said. “It is great fun watching kids catch their first fish while the more experienced anglers teach them the joys to be had outdoors.”

Game and Fish will have up to 100 rods and reels and bait available for clinic participants on a first-come, first-served basis.

Game and Fish will also have an aquarium trailer there with large rainbows on display. By the way, those trophy-sized trout will be stocked into Town Lake following the event.

There will even be music.

For directions to the marina, visit the Town Lake website at www.tempe.gov/lake/Maps/MarinaMap.jpg.

This holiday event highlights Arizona’s increasingly popular winter trout stocking program.

During winter, Game and Fish stocks trout in places like Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, the Lower Salt River, the Verde River, Oak Creek, Patagonia Lake and Lynx Lake. And of course, Tempe Town Lake.

This past week, the Urban Program Lakes were also stocked with rainbow trout for the first time this season.

Trout are also stocked by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service along Casino Row in the Bullhead/Laughlin areas and at Willow Beach below Hoover Dam.

“Arizona anglers enjoying shirt-sleeve action are often envied by snow-bound fishermen across the nation in winter,” Aikens advised.

For more information on where fish are stocked and other fishing tips, check out the weekly fishing report and the trout stocking schedule at www.azgfd.gov.

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