Two sites in the region have been recognized in a nationwide vote as among the best places to fish -- just in time for Free Fishing Day on Saturday, June 7.
Sponsored by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, the Take Me Fishing campaign recognized the Top 100 family-friendly places to boat and fish in the United States. The announcement of results kicked off the celebration of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 1-8.
Tims Ford State Park in Winchester was one of three Tennessee state parks to make the list. Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area in Rome was one of five sites in Georgia.
According to the foundation's President and CEO, Frank Peterson, state fish and wildlife agencies were enlisted to identify popular locations. Then fishing and boating enthusiasts voted on their favorite spots "that are easily accessible and where the fish are known to bite most often."
Free Fishing Day varies by state. Saturday is the sole designated day in Tennessee and Alabama. Georgia has three: both Saturdays, June 7 and 14, during National Fishing and Boating Week and on National Hunting & Fishing Day, Sept. 27.
FREE FISHING DAY
■ Tennessee: All residents and nonresidents are allowed to fish without a license. Children 15 or younger may fish without a license for the entire week, starting on Free Fishing Day and continuing through the following Friday. Children younger than 13 may fish without a license at any time of the year. Special events include the Chuck Copeland Memorial Kids Fishing Rodeo at Spring City Veterans Park, Tellico River Kids Fishing Day at the Tellico Trout Hatchery in Tellico Plains, Meadow Park Lake Fishing Derby in Crossville and the Grundy Lakes Fishing Rodeo in Tracy City. Get details at www.state.tn.us/twra/fish/events/events.html.
■ Georgia: Residents 16 and older do not need a fishing license, trout license or Wildlife Management Area license to fish. Find out more at www.georgiawildlife.com.
■ Alabama: No license needed for anglers 16 and older. Find out more at www.outdooralabama.com.
TOP STOPS IN THE TRI-STATE
The Top 100 Family Fishing & Boating Spots as voted in the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation's Take Me Fishing campaign included these locations in Tennessee, Georgia and Alabama.
■ 56. High Falls State Park, Jackson, Ga.
■ 77. Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area, Rome, Ga.
■ 78. Pickwick Landing State Park, Counce, Tenn.
■ 80. Georgia Veterans State Park, Cordele, Ga.
■ 82. Tims Ford State Park, Winchester, Tenn.
■ 84. Paris Landing State Park, Buchanan, Tenn.
■ 85. Crooked River State Park, St. Mary's, Ga.
■ 92. Tugaloo State Park, Lavonia, Ga.
■ 94. Oak Mountain State Park, Pelham, Ala.