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According to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks:

Forget about that tacky tie for Father’s Day and take Dad fishing instead. This year, Montana is offering the gift of free fishing for all over Father’s Day weekend.

Joe Maurier, director of Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, explained the new promotion was approved by the Montana Legislature and recently signed into law by Gov. Brian Schweitzer.

“It’s a wonderful idea because it provides everyone in Montana with the opportunity to get hooked on fishing,” Maurier said. “You can legally fish without a license on June 18 and June 19.”

Maurier also cautioned all anglers to be aware that many of Montana’s rivers and streams will likely be running high over the Father’s Day weekend promotion. “Some fishing access sites may still be closed due to high water and conditions in many areas may still be hazardous for anglers and boaters,” he said. “Please research the current conditions on the water you plan to visit and always wear a life jacket.”

Anyone planning on recreating near water should check the FWP website at for information on flood and high-water restrictions or closures.  For water and boating safety tips, click “Recreation.” Then choose “Stay Safe Outdoors.”

In total, each year more than 230,000 residents and 160,000 nonresidents purchase a Montana fishing license. Anglers spend about $240 million annually in Montana for things like transportation, food and guide fees. For every dollar spent by FWP’s fisheries program, anglers spend an additional $11 benefiting local communities and the state’s economy.

Among those anglers, Montana’s most popular waters include the Madison, Bighorn, Missouri, Bitterroot and Gallatin rivers; and Canyon Ferry, Flathead, Georgetown Hauser, and Fort Peck lakes.

“Montana’s first ‘fish for free’ weekend is the state’s Father’s Day gift to dad’s everywhere,” Maurier said. “We want everyone to have a fun time, so we’re also encouraging folks to check conditions first and to always keep safety as their top concern.”

The free fishing promotion is set for Father’s Day weekend, June 18-19.

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