DEEP designates Saturday, Aug. 11 as ‘Free Fishing License Day’

Get a free one-day fishing license to spend time outdoors with friends and family catching great memories (and a fish or two).

Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has designated Saturday, Aug. 11, “Free Fishing License Day.” The 7th Annual Saltwater Fishing Day event will be held Aug. 11 from 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. at Fort Trumbull State Park on the Fishing Pier in New London, sponsored by DEEP’s No Child Left Inside® and the Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) programs. There will be fishing and crabbing opportunities for the entire family. State agencies and other organizations will provide educational activities throughout the day. State Environmental Conservation (EnCon) Police will have a saltwater fish exhibit and be on hand to answer questions. CT Aquatic Resources Education (CARE) will feature a touch tank with live marine species.

To fish for free, anyone – resident or non-resident – can obtain a free one-day fishing license — good for both the inland and marine districts –through the DEEP online sportsmen licensing system (www.ct.gov/deep/fishing) or at any venue that sells fishing licenses.

“The designated “Free Fishing License Day” is one of DEEP’s initiatives designed to connect people with outdoor activities and Connecticut’s natural resources. “Free Fishing License Day” reflects how fishing is much more than catching fish. For many, the quality time spent connecting with friends and family outdoors is priceless,” said Susan Whalen, DEEP Deputy Commissioner. “Many of those who took advantage of the previous ‘Free Fishing License Days’ have either fished as a youngster or have held a fishing license in past years. We know that once people come out and fish our many lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and Long Island Sound they will be amazed at how much they have been missing.”

Connecticut has just about every type of fishing within 25 miles of just about every resident including trout, bass, pike, panfish, and saltwater species including striped bass, fluke, porgy or bluefish. Combining the annual Saltwater Fishing Day with Free Fishing License Day provides families the opportunity to plan an outing focused around fishing together as each family member 16 years of age or older can obtain a free one-day fishing license. “We know many people would like to try saltwater fishing but may not know of an opportunity to do so. Combining Free Fishing License Day and Saltwater Fishing Day provides a great opportunity for the new or experienced angler to fish for marine species,” added Deputy Commissioner Whalen.

Those who are 15 or younger do not need a fishing license but can register using the same on-line system to obtain a “Youth Fishing Passport.” The “Youth Fishing Passport” provides access to two fishing related activities and a list of sponsors who are offering discounts or free items to passport holders. Saltwater Fishing Day is a good way to check off several species on the “Fishing Challenge Scorecard,” a year-long fishing checklist where young anglers can keep track of all of the different types of fish they catch. Visit www.ct.gov/deep/yfp for details.

Check out DEEP’s listings of Lakes & Ponds, Rivers & Streams, and Coastal Access points in the 2018 Connecticut Angler’s Guide, now available online in Spanish, or call (860) 424-FISH (3474). Anglers can also find fishing regulations in the 2018 Connecticut Angler’s Guide.

English and Spanish versions of the Guide can be found online at www.ct.gov/deep/anglersguide and print versions (English) are available at more than 350 locations statewide, including many town halls, bait & tackle shops and other vendors selling outdoor equipment, DEEP facilities, and commercial marinas and campgrounds, or by contacting DEEP’s Fisheries Division (860-424-FISH).

Additional fishing and fisheries related information can be found on the DEEP web site at: www.ct.gov/deep/fishing, and on our social media channels; Facebook at facebook.com/ctfishandwildlife and Twitter, https://twitter.com/CTFishingInfo or @CTFishinginfo.

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