74.9 F

Free fishing events statewide



If you have been trying to figure out a way to get the kids off the computer and out of the house, then the Nevada Department of Wildlife has a plan, and here’s the best part…it’s free.

Nevada Free Fishing Day is one day only: this Saturday, June 12th.  On Free Fishing Day anglers may fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. All limits and other regulations apply.

“Free Fishing Day provides the perfect opportunity for families to spend the day together in an activity they may have never tried before,” said Chris Vasey, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Regional Outdoor Education Coordinator.  He adds that NDOW has stocked fish in many of Nevada’s waters in preparation for Saturday.  “Your chances should be pretty good for catching a fish,” he said.           

This year NDOW is helping to put on several events around the state from Las Vegas to Ely and on over to Sparks.  Many of the events include prizes and free goodies for the kids. Even if you don’t plan on attending any of the scheduled events, NDOW wants to remind everyone that Free Fishing Day is statewide and for anglers of all ages.

“People are allowed to fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp,” Said Vasey.  “We want people to get out there and check out what Nevada has to offer, and maybe if you like what you see, you will think about buying a license for the year or a short term permit.”

An annual fishing license in Nevada costs $29.00, $13.00 for a junior (12 – 15 years of age) or a senior (65 years of age or older) fishing license, and $9.00 for as short term fishing permit. Fishing licenses are available online at www.ndow.org

Here is a list of the events being offered around the state:


Las Vegas – This year’s Free Fishing Day event for the Las Vegas Valley will be held at the Boulder City Pond in the Veterans’ Memorial Park, Boulder City.  Registration will start at 7:30 a.m. and the event will kick off at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m. 

The first 300 kids will receive a goody bag with a tackle box.  Prizes will be given out throughout the event for all ages.  This event is being sponsored by a partnership between NDOW, Boulder City Parks and Recreation, National Park Service, Bureau of Reclamation, and the Public Lands Institute.  There will also be informational booths on fishing activities, such as casting, fish identification, baits and lures, etc. along with booths on desert wildlife, boating safety, fish art, and much more. 

A limited amount of loaner rods and reels will be available free of charge. For more information contact Ivy Santee at (702) 486-5127, extension 3503.

 Pioche – Echo Canyon State Park will be holding a Free Fishing Day Derby from 8 a.m. to noon. Rangers at the park have a reputation for putting on a great event complete with prizes, raffles, food and other options.  Echo Canyon is located just east of Pioche in Lincoln County. For more information about this event contact State Park Ranger Ben Johnson at (775) 962-5102.  


 Elko/Carlin – NDOW will be holding a non-competitive Kids Fishing Derby at the Chinese Garden Nature Study Area Pond in Carlin from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 am. Registration will start at 8 a.m., with the first 50 anglers to register receiving a free T-shirt. The derby is for children 16 and under, but everyone is welcome to come out and fish that day.   The event is sponsored by NDOW, the City of Carlin and the Ruby Mountain Chapter of Safari Club International.

NDOW will have limited rods and reels available for new anglers to borrow as well as angler education volunteers to help you rig your outfits and give you fishing tips. There will also be a fly tying booth with members of the Ruby Mountain Flycasters showing young anglers how to tie flies and give them a chance to tie their own wooly bugger.

There will be a free drawing for prizes for all the children who sign up for the derby between 11:30 a.m. and noon.  Prizes include rod and reel combos, fly fishing outfits, and tackle boxes. Children must be 16 or under to be eligible for the prizes.

Ely NDOW will host the annual Kid’s Free Fishing Day Derby at Cave Lake State Park. Registration starts at 8 a.m. and the kids fishing derby runs from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. There is no charge for the participants, though parents must be present with their children.

Between 11:30 a.m. and noon, there will be a free drawing for prizes for children who sign up for the derby. Prizes include rod and reel combos, fly fishing outfits, and tackle boxes. There will also be free grab bags for all participants. Children must be under 18 to be eligible for the prizes.         


Sparks/Reno – Once again The Sparks Rotary Club, NDOW and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation Department have joined forces to offer a special community event for the area’s children.

Kids will enjoy a fun-filled morning of fishing along the south shore of the Sparks Marina from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Commemorative t-shirts and fishing poles will be distributed at the registration area until supplies run out. There will be fun games and face painting for all ages, and a free barbecue lunch will begin at 9 a.m. with hot dogs, soda and ice cream for registered children.

In addition to the Sparks Rotary Club, NDOW and the City of Sparks Parks and Recreation, many generous sponsors enable this free event to take place. Nevada Bighorns Unlimited, Safari Club International and the Reno Rodeo Foundation are providing generous cash donations. Mark Fore and Strike Sporting Goods and Model Dairy have been sponsors since the event began, and are returning again with in-kind donations. Other generous sponsors, as well as information on the event can be found by clicking “latest news” on the Sparks Rotary Club’s website at www.sparksrotary.org.

Rotary members from Sparks and Reno, and staff from the Nevada Department of Wildlife will be on hand to assist those with little or no fishing experience. Fishing equipment will be available for children to use if they don’t have their own. Parents must accompany their children to the event.

For those who plan on fishing any of the other urban ponds in Washoe County, NDOW wants to remind everyone that the limit is three fish at all urban ponds in the County.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. For more information, visit www.ndow.org.

This Is Reno is your source for award-winning independent, online Reno news and events since 2009. We are locally owned and operated.