CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources wants to establish one or two locations in every county where people can fish for free.

State fisheries director Tom O’Connell told the Cumberland Times-News Tuesday that the bill in the General Assembly represents a new vision for hooking people on freshwater sport fishing.

An annual freshwater fishing license costs Maryland residents $20.50. The state offers three days of free fishing a year, and children can fish for free at “fishing rodeos” sponsored by private clubs.

O’Connell says the proposed free fishing sites would allow novice anglers to explore the sport further before buying a license. He says the sites would likely be public ponds that hold sunfish and bass. O’Connell says high-quality trout streams wouldn’t be included in the program.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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