Free Fishing Day Events Planned for Nevada Statewide

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) wants to remind everyone that Saturday is Free Fishing Day, the one day of the year where 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 planted fish in many of Nevada's waters in preparation for Saturday. "Your chances should be pretty good for catching a fish," he said.

NDOW has teamed up with several groups and agencies to hold events statewide, however Vasey is quick to point out that fishing is free everywhere not just at these specific NDOW sponsored events. "Free Fishing Day is statewide. People are allowed to fish in any public fishing water in the state without needing a fishing license or trout stamp. We want people to get out there and check out all the great waters that 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, $13 for a junior (12 - 15 years of age) or a senior (65 years of age or older) fishing license, and $9 for a short term fishing permit.

Eastern Nevada
Chinese Garden Ponds in Carlin:
The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) will be holding a non-competitive Kids Fishing Derby at the Chinese Garden Ponds in Carlin on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 am. Registration will start at 8 a.m. The derby is for children 15 and under, but everyone is welcome to come out and fish that day. Children must be accompanied by an adult. This is an opportunity for those who don't normally fish, to come out and give it a try since no license is required on Free Fishing Day. 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 Fly Fishers showing young anglers how to tie flies and give them a chance to tie their own wooly bugger.

Between 11:30 and noon, there will be a free drawing for prizes for all the children who sign up for the derby. Prizes include rod and reel combos, fly fishing outfits, and tackle boxes. Children must be 15 or under to be eligible for the prizes, though the whole family is invited to fish.

To get to Chinese Garden Ponds from Elko, go west on I-80 to the central Carlin Exit. Turn south on 10th Street. At the first stop sign go west (take a right) on Chestnut Street. Head out of town about two miles and take a left off of Chestnut on the gravel road immediately before State Route 278. The pond is on your right. There will be a sign where the gravel road intersects Chestnut Street.

Cave Lake State Park:
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 and noon, there will be a free drawing for prizes for children who sign up for the derby. Prizes include rod and reel combos, fishing tackle and tackle boxes. There will also be free grab bags for all participants. Children must be under 18 to be eligible for the prizes.

Southern Nevada
Veterans Memorial Park Pond in Boulder City:
This event will include a fishing derby for anglers of all ages along with booths where participants can learn about various fish species in Southern Nevada as well as how to tie fishing knots and select their bait and tackle. In addition, the booths will offer information about desert flora and fauna, boating safety and other related subjects.

The first 300 children who register for this event will receive a free tackle box and all participants will have chances to win a prize. Joining NDOW as partners in this event are the Boulder City Parks & Recreation Department, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Southern Nevada Agency Partnership. Registration will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the actual event will run from 8 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. For more information about this event contact Ivy Santee, (702) 486-5127 x 3503.

Floyd Lamb Park (northwest corner of the valley near Durango Blvd. and Highway 95):
This event is sponsored by City Councilman Steve Ross and the Las Vegas Parks and Recreation Department in partnership with NDOW. NDOW personnel will be on hand to loan out fishing rods and tackle to those who need it for the morning. Loaner rods will be available beginning at 7:30 a.m. and they must be returned by 10 a.m. For more information on this event contact Christie Garness at (702) 249-5877.

Echo Canyon State Park (near Pioche):
The annual fishing derby will run from 8 a.m. - noon. The derby is open to anglers of all ages and will include a tagged fish event with the chance to win an assortment of prizes. For more information on this event contact Ranger Ben Johnson, (775) 962-5102.

Western Nevada
Sparks Marina:
The Sparks Rotary Club, NDOW and the Parks and Recreation Department for the City of Sparks have joined forces to offer a special community event for the area's children. Kids can 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. 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

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.

Idlewild Park:
A Free Fishing Day event sponsored by the Reno Host Lions Club in cooperation with NDOW, will take place at Idlewild Park Saturday from 7 a.m. until 11 a.m. Kids are encouraged to bring their own poles, however 300 poles will be available on a first come first served basis. The event will include a fire engine and crew from the Reno Fire Department, a REMSA ambulance crew, and the Sheriff's SWAT vehicle and team members, and face painters. Doughnuts, hot chocolate and water will be available at a nominal cost.

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. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at

If you did not draw a big game tag in the recent completed main draw, the Nevada Department of Wildlife...... Read More