State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today reminded New Yorkers that this weekend, June 25-26, has been designated “Free Fishing Weekend” in New York State.
“In effort to increase fishing participation in New York State, this weekend is an ideal opportunity to introduce someone to the great sport of fishing,” said Commissioner Martens. “This is also an excellent time for out of state residents to visit and sample all that New York has to offer a freshwater angler. Both residents and non-residents can fish for free during this 2 day period.”
All anglers are encouraged to sign up as a fishing ambassador as part of the joint DEC/Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Angler Legacy Program. Since the program began in 2006, over 11,000 New Yorkers have “Taken the Pledge” to introduce at least one newcomer to the sport. Recent research has shown that this program is making a difference, with Angler Legacy Ambassadors taking an average of 4.2 newcomers fishing; 68 percent more than non-ambassadors. Ambassadors also introduced an average of 3.3 youth to fishing; 73 percent more than non-ambassadors. Anglers interested in signing up for the program can do so at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html .
Those new to the sport are encouraged to attend one of the various Free Fishing Clinics that are held across the state. These clinics provide basic information on how to get started in the sport of fishing and many provide loaner rods and bait for participants to use. A complete listing of clinics can be found at on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27123.html .
Although a state fishing license is not required during Free Fishing Weekend, all other fishing rules and regulations remain in effect. Marine anglers 16 years of age and older are also reminded that they must enroll in the no-fee saltwater fishing registry to fish for migratory saltwater fish species or in the marine district. To register, anglers can go to the usual outlets for sporting licenses, or register online anytime on DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/permits/6101.htmlhttps://nyfgisales.appsolgrp.com/fgnyia/html/index.jsp. Anglers can also register by phone by calling 1-86-NY-DECALS (1-866-933-2257).
Visit the DEC’s Places to Fish page at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7749.html or contact your regional DEC office for recommendations on places to go.
Anglers should also be mindful of the general statewide advisory that recommends eating no more than one meal per week from the state’s freshwaters. Consumption advisories also exist for a number of other waters in New York. A full list of waters that have fish advisories can be obtained by calling 1-800-458-1158 or visiting the New York State Department of Health page listed in the right column of DEC’s advisory page http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7736.html.