With waters warming and rivers running clear, Colorado Parks and Wildlife is inviting anglers young and old to take advantage of Colorado’s annual free fishing weekend this Saturday and Sunday.
The agency traditionally sets aside the first full weekend in June to promote sport fishing. For this weekend only, anglers are not required to have a valid fishing license in order to wet a line.
“Fishing is one of Colorado’s most important outdoor traditions and a great way to hook kids on healthy outdoor recreation,” said Greg Gerlich, aquatic section manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “Free fishing weekend also gives anglers who haven’t fished for a while a chance to reconnect with the simple pleasure of being on the water.”
While no fishing license is required during free fishing weekend, all other regulations remain in effect, including bag and possession limits, and restrictions on bait in certain waters. Anglers should consult the 2012 Colorado Fishing brochure for regulations and restrictions.
With more than 2,000 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, Colorado offers anglers a variety of species to pursue, including trout, bass, walleye, catfish and carp. The more than 10,000 miles of streams and rivers in Colorado offer outstanding trout fishing opportunities. Thirty-seven of Colorado’s 42 state parks offer fishing opportunities and many other recreational amenities for a great family outing.
Each year, Colorado Parks and Wildlife stocks more than 3 million catchable-sized trout and 14 million trout fingerlings. The agency also stocks more than 64 million warm-water fry and fingerlings around the state each year. Fully half of the 85 million fish produced by Colorado’s hatchery system are planted in state park waters each year.
With the exception of free fishing weekend, anglers between the ages of 16 and 64 are required to have a valid Colorado fishing license before casting a line. Annual resident fishing licenses cost $26 and one-day or five-day licenses are also available. Youth under age 16 are not required to have a license. Resident seniors aged 65 and older can buy an annual Colorado fishing license for $1.
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 at wildlife.state.co.us/ShopDOW/AppsAndLicenses/. Anglers who just can’t wait may purchase a fishing license over the phone and receive a temporary authorization number allowing them to fish immediately by calling 800-244-5613.
For more information on state fishing regulations, the current Colorado fishing brochure is available online at wildlife.state.co.us/RulesRegs/RegulationsBrochures/. An interactive version of the brochure available on the web site provides links to maps and useful videos for beginning to experienced anglers.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife produces a weekly fishing report that includes information about fishing conditions and stocking activity around the state. The fishing report is available online at wildlife.state.co.us/Fishing/Reports/Pages/StatewideConditions.aspx.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife was created by the merger of Colorado State Parks and the Colorado Division of Wildlife, two nationally recognized leaders in conservation, outdoor recreation and wildlife management. Colorado Parks and Wildlife manages 42 state parks, all of Colorado’s wildlife, more than 300 state wildlife areas and a host of recreational programs.