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Outdoors: Free fishing days return to Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s Free Fishing Days, which allow people to fish without state fishing licenses or permits, return on June 7-8.

“Free Fishing Days gives people a chance to just ‘test the waters’ and see if they would enjoy the sport,” said Ken Cunningham, assistant chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Department. “We are confident they will.”

Urban areas across the state offer angling opportunities through the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Close to Home Fishing program, which provides quality fishing opportunities without a long drive from home. Anglers also have access to public lakes, rivers, streams and ponds across the state. People who just don’t know where to start can turn to the “Where to Fish” map found in the Wildlife Department’s “Oklahoma Fishing” regulations guide, available online at wildlifedepartment.com or where fishing licenses are sold.

Anglers may also sign up to receive the weekly Oklahoma Fishing Report. Compiled by Wildlife Department personnel and independent reporters, the report reveals inside information on the best places to go fishing, when the fish are biting and what baits they are hitting the most. Anglers can have the fishing report e-mailed to them by subscribing wildlifedepartment.com/fishing/fishrpt.htm.

Participants in Free Fishing Days should note that certain city permits may still apply to specific fishing areas June 7-8. Also, all of Lake Texoma is open for free fishing on June 7, but will only apply to the Oklahoma portion of the lake on June 8. Anglers must abide by all Texas fishing license and permit requirements when fishing the Texas portion of Lake Texoma on June 8.

Oklahoma was the first state in the nation to offer Free Fishing Days about 30 years ago and has since been followed by dozens of other states that have established similar days.

While Free Fishing Days allows people to fish without having a state fishing license, anglers still must abide by all other fishing regulations including daily bag limits and size restrictions.

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