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RALEIGH, N.C. (June 15) — Fishing for a fun and inexpensive way to celebrate Independence Day? The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission invites anglers and would-be anglers of all ages to go fishing — for free.

On July 4, from 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m., anyone can fish any public, inland water in the state without having to purchase a license, including a trout license. All other fishing regulations apply, including size and creel limits as well as bait and tackle restrictions.

“The Wildlife Commission offers a free fishing day to show novice anglers how much fun fishing can be and to remind lapsed anglers how much fun they’ve been missing,” said Bob Curry, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “It’s a great opportunity for everyone to experience the incredible fishing that North Carolina has to offer.”

To make finding a fishing hot spot easier, the Wildlife Commission maintains more than 90 Public Fishing Access areas and Community Fishing Program sites statewide.

Public Fishing Access 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 handicapped-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 solar-powered fish feeders and handicapped-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 license for $15, which is valid for one year. A lifetime comprehensive fishing license is $250. Licenses can be purchased online,, or from any of the Commission’s 1,100 wildlife service agents located across the state.

A list of all Public Fishing Access areas, Community Fishing Program sites and Tackle Loaner Program sites can be found on the Wildlife Commission’s Web site . For more information on fishing in North Carolina’s public, inland waters, contact the Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 733-3633.


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