Free fishing days set for June 6-8

Published 10:43 am Friday, May 30, 2014

RICHMOND—You may fish without a license again this year during the first week in June. Take advantage of the free fishing days, June 6-8, and enjoy the great outdoors with your family and friends without having to spend money for a fishing license.

“We hope you catch a big one!” said John M.R. Bull, the 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 real fishing during free fishing days, except in designated stocked trout waters. All fishing regulations including size, season, catch limits, and gear restrictions, will remain in effect. If you’re fishing in designated stocked trout waters, both a freshwater and trout license will be required.

“We have some of the best rivers, lakes and streams for fishing in the country and we would love it if the non-fishing public would give it a try. It’s fun and rewarding,’’ said Bob Duncan, executive director of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) which manages freshwater fishing. “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 Resources 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 Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries website, Regulations can also be viewed on a cell phone or other mobile device by downloading the Department’s free Hunting and Fishing App:

VDGIF has a way to recognize a trophy freshwater catch, called The Virginia Angler Recognition Program. On average, anglers measure up over 6,000 trophy size fish annually. Since 1963, when the program began, over a quarter-million trophy fish awards have been issued.

If you land a big saltwater fish, please consider posting that information to the Virginia Saltwater Fisherman Journal, an online site which has been used by recreational anglers since 2007.

The Journal is intended to benefit the individual angler, the fishing community, and fishery managers. It allows individual anglers to keep a record of their fishing experience, which they can be used to identify their successful locations and conditions in the future. The Journal also allows the fishing community to share and learn about other anglers’ experiences. Finally, posting your saltwater catch information on the Journal will benefit fishery managers by allowing them to assess fish populations by analyzing data provided by you, the recreational fisherman.

“I hope anglers and boaters of all ages take advantage of both free fishing days and the Saltwater Fisherman Journal,” said Commissioner Bull. “Fishing is a great recreational past-time, and fosters a sense of stewardship of our natural environment.”