fishing expo
Woman with carp. (Courtesy DEC)

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will hold the second annual Women’s Fishing Expo at Connetquot River State Park Preserve on Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Women and girls are a vital and fast-growing part of New York’s angling and outdoor recreation community,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The Long Island Women’s Fishing Expo connects participants to the skills and knowledge necessary to have successful and enjoyable experiences outdoors and fishing, helping to inspire the next generation of anglers.”

The Women’s Fishing Expo will provide hands-on instruction and experiential learning in a fun and supportive environment. This event will be run primarily by women anglers and fisheries professionals and includes networking opportunities for women-owned businesses and fishing clubs. Everyone is welcome to attend, although the event’s primary focus is introducing women and girls to fishing.

“DEC is excited to bring back this wonderful program,” DEC Acting Regional Director Merlange Genece said. “Long Island has fantastic areas for fly-fishing and we are excited to introduce this rewarding activity to women who may not have had the opportunity to cast a line.”

Expo activities begin at 10 a.m., on Sept. 25, and are free of charge. A vehicle use fee of $8 will be in effect. Parking is free for Empire Passport holders. The 2021 Empire Passport can be purchased for $80 at State Parks offices, or online at the NYS Parks website.

Participants will learn about fishing opportunities on Long Island and around the state, basic and intermediate fishing skills, basic knots, fly-tying demonstrations, fly-casting instruction, and fisheries management. The event includes a trout hatchery tour, marine fishing information, and free fly fishing on the renowned Connetquot River. Fly casting and fly fishing are limited to participants 14 and older.

“Fishing is an enjoyable way to interact with the amazing natural surroundings of Long Island and New York State throughout the year,” State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said. “I thank our partners at DEC for helping introduce more women to this delightful and lifelong sport.”

According to the most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, women make up more than 25 percent of all anglers, a number that has increased over the last several decades. The Women’s Fishing Expo coincides with National Hunting and Fishing Day, which is designated as a Free Fishing Day in New York State, so the freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers ages 16 and older is suspended statewide.

This is a rain or shine event. Space is limited and pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, call the DEC’s I FISH NY Program at 631-444-0283, email fwfish1@dec.ny.gov with the subject title Women’s Fishing Expo, or visit DEC’s website.

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