Anglers of all skill levels encouraged to cast a line, experience benefits of freshwater fishing for free
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday announced Saturday, Sept. 24, is a “Free Fishing Day” in New York state. This free freshwater fishing day is one of six held annually. It coincides with National Hunting and Fishing Day, which is celebrated to promote outdoor activities that are significant contributors to New York's economy and help support fish and wildlife conservation.
"From Babylon to Buffalo, ‘Free Fishing Days’ are a great opportunity for New Yorkers to enjoy the outdoors at one of New York state's many world-class fishing locations," Hochul said. "I encourage everyone to take advantage of this weekend's ‘Free Fishing Day,’ support New York's local economy, and see the benefits of our extensive conservation efforts to protect and enhance our natural resources."
On “Free Fishing Days,” people can fish New York's fresh waters for free without a fishing license. Participants are reminded that, although the requirement for a fishing license is waived, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.
The sixth and last “Free Fishing Day” of 2022 is on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "DEC is thrilled to support ‘Free Fishing Days’ throughout the year to help introduce people to the sport of fishing. Along with other improvements like our new tackle box feature on the HuntFishNY smartphone app, DEC continues to work to make fishing more accessible for local anglers of all skill levels to enjoy the excellent fishing in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams in every region."
Earlier this summer, DEC launched the new tackle box feature to enhance fishing-related tourism, and help new and experienced anglers enjoy the fishing offered throughout New York. It is available on DEC's HuntFishNY smartphone app (available for iOS and Android), which provides information on nearly all state fishing regulations, waterbodies, state-operated fishing access sites, stocking information, and other features like photos to help identify fish likely found in a certain river, lake or stream. More information on the HuntFishNY mobile app can be found on DEC's website.
DEC's “Places to Fish” webpages are also a source for those ready to plan their next fishing trip. For beginning anglers interested in getting started, the “I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing” provides information on everything from rigging up a fishing rod to identifying catch and understanding fishing regulations.
When not participating in “Free Fishing Days,” anglers 16 years of age and older must have a current New York state fishing license to fish in fresh water. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. More information on purchasing a freshwater fishing license can be found on DEC's website. Information about the required, no-fee recreational marine fishing registry for saltwater fishing can be found here.