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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 15) - If you're new to the sport of fishing, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has a great deal for you!

On July 4, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., anyone - resident or visitor - can fish any public, inland water in the state for free. No license, including a trout license, is required. However, other fishing regulations, such as size and creel limits and bait and tackle restrictions, as well as park use fees apply.

To make finding a fishing fun spot easier, the Wildlife Commission maintains more than 100 public fishing areas and Community Fishing Program sites statewide.

Public fishing areas provide free fishing opportunities from the banks of North Carolina's waters. The Wildlife Commission clears the banks of underbrush and, in some cases, constructs universally accessible fishing piers and installs fish attractors.

Community Fishing Program sites are intensively managed bodies of water receiving monthly stockings of catchable-sized catfish from April to September. Many sites also feature fish feeders and universally accessible fishing piers to make fishing more enjoyable for anglers of all abilities.

For those who want to fish but don't have the equipment, the Commission's Tackle Loaner Program, available at many Community Fishing Program sites, allows anglers to borrow rods and reels for free for the day.

North Carolina residents age 16 and older who are interested in fishing the remaining 364 days of the year can purchase a fishing basic license for $15, which is valid for one year from the purchase date. A lifetime comprehensive fishing license is $250. Licenses can be purchased online, www.ncwildlife.org, or from any of the Commission's 1,100 wildlife service agents located across the state.

For a list of all Public Fishing areas, Community Fishing Program sites and Tackle Loaner Program sites, visit the Wildlife Commission's Web site, www.ncwildlife.org, or call the Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 707-0220.
 
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