Outdoors notebook: Statewide free fishing day July 4

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No fishing license required on Pennsylvania's second and final free fishing day of 2014. From 12:01 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. July 4, fishing licenses are not needed for residents and non-residents fishing in the state's waterways. All other fishing regulations and private property laws apply.

"Fish-for-Free days are one of the enticements we use to introduce friends and family to the sport of fishing," said John Arway, executive director of the state Fish and Boat Commission, in a written statement. "Lakes and parks are always popular spots during the summer and particularly on holidays. This is a convenient way for visitors to try fishing at no cost. We know that once people try fishing, particularly kids, they will see that it is a great recreational activity and they will want to do it more."

Beginners can borrow fishing rods, reels and tackle from dozens of state-run "loaner sites" including Point State Park (Allegheny County), Raccoon Creek State Park (Beaver) and Keystone State Park (Westmoreland), which was recently declared the 18th best family fishing location in the United States according to the national non-profit Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's Take Me Fishing program.

"Many of the sites are right at state parks, which are always a popular place for visitors on holidays," said Fish and Boat outreach director Laurel Anders. "But we also have loaner sites at county parks and some public libraries. ... We want to encourage individuals to try fishing."

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