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Amateur anglers will have another opportunity to fish without a license after Gov. Asa Hutchinson designated June 12-14 Free Fishing Weekend.

Hutchinson issued a proclamation Thursday that would allow any person to fish in the state without a fishing license or trout stamp from noon Friday, June 12, through midnight Sunday, June 14.

Although Free Fishing Weekend is an annual tradition, the commission also waived fishing license requirements for nine days in late March during the initial closure of schools, amusement parks and museums because of concerns for the spread of the coronavirus.

"At $10.50 a year, Arkansas's fishing license is one of the nation's least expensive. It's less than three cents per day," said Ben Batten, chief of the AGFC's Fisheries Division. "But even that fee is waived for this weekend to help get people outside for a fishing trip."

Batten says June is an excellent time to fish, and this year has shaped up to be a good one with many people enjoying a return to the water.

"We're seeing increased traffic at many of our lakes, particularly the smaller and mid-sized lakes the AGFC owns," Batten said. "Even weekdays have been consistently busy as people have learned fishing and the outdoors are an ideal temporary getaway from our current issues in the world."

According to the Game and Fish Commission, sales of the basic resident $10.50 fishing license are 10 percent higher than this time in 2019, frising from about 203,000 to about 227,000. Sales of the combination hunting and fishing license increased by about 10,000.

Sports on 05/22/2020

Print Headline: Free fishing weekend set for June 12-14

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