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Outdoors

Virginia offering free fishing days first weekend in June

May 29th, 2014 12:43 am by Staff Report

Virginia offering free fishing days first weekend in June

RICHMOND — Virginia is for lovers of fishing, with a special three days for those who might not fish all that much but would like to dip a line without the bother and expense of getting a license.

Virginia offers free fishing days June 6-8 for all to enjoy the great outdoors with family and friends without having to spend money for a fishing license.

"We hope you catch a big one!" said John M.R. Bull, head of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission. "We work tirelessly to create and maintain sustainable fisheries. Our conservation efforts are aimed at giving anglers a fair chance at landing some fish. As a result, the fishing in Virginia is terrific."

No fishing license of any kind will be required for recreational rod and reel fishing during free fishing days, with the exception of designated stocked trout waters.

All fishing regulations including size, season, catch limits and gear restrictions will remain in effect. Those who fish in Virginia's designated trout waters will require both a freshwater and trout license, so it's advisable to check with area Game & Inland Fisheries folks or seek the information at http://mrc.virginia.gov or www.HuntFishVA.com or on a cell or other mobile device at http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/app/.

"We have some of the best rivers, lakes and streams for fishing in the country and we would love it if the nonfishing public would give it a try. It's fun and rewarding," said Bob Duncan, executive director of the Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries.

"Virginia has always been recognized as an angling destination, from blue ribbon trout streams in the mountains to world class saltwater fishing in the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean."

The Marine Resource Commission's website has extensive information on Virginia's recreational fishing size, season and creel limits. The freshwater catch regulations can be found at the Game & Inland Fisheries website.

Game & Inland Fisheries enables anglers, novice or otherwise, to recognize a trophy freshwater catch. On average, the Virginia Angler Recognition Program measures up more than 6,000 trophy size fish annually.

Since 1963, when the program began, more than a quarter million trophy fish awards have been issued.

For those who land a big saltwater fish, the state urges anglers to consider posting the information to the Virginia Saltwater Fisherman Journal, an online site used by recreational anglers since 2007.

"I hope anglers and boaters of all ages take advantage of both free fishing days and the Saltwater Fisherman Journal," said Bull.

"Fishing is a great recreational pastime, and fosters a sense of stewardship of our natural environment," he said.

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