New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced a Free Fishing Weekend for June 27 - 28. The event is the second of six Free Fishing Days offered in New York State every year.
"This free fishing weekend could not have come at a better time," Commissioner Seggos said. "Amid the uncertainty of these challenging times, being home together has allowed many families to get outdoors and experience new activities. Free fishing days provide the perfect opportunity for all New Yorkers-from Brooklyn to Buffalo and from Montauk to Mt. Marcy-to try fishing for the first time and encourage those who have fished before to dust off their fishing rods and get outside."
DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home. DEC's Places to Fish webpages are a reliable 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 your catch, and understanding fishing regulations.
Additional Free Fishing Days in 2020/2021 include:
National Hunting and Fishing Day (Sept. 26); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); and President's Day Weekend (Feb. 13-14). During these designated free fishing days, New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Free fishing day participants are reminded that although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.
New York State is encouraging people to engage in responsible recreation during the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis. DEC recommendations incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases and encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally, practice physical distancing, show respect, and use common sense to protect themselves and others. Use the DECinfo Locator to find a DEC-managed resource near you and visit the State Parks website for information about parks and park closures. For more information about engaging in responsible recreation this summer, visit DEC's website.
DEC reminds anglers to maintain safe social distancing while fishing (PDF) this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Guidelines to protect yourself and others include:
Fish local: Stay close to home. Keep your fishing trip short. Avoid high-traffic destinations.
Be safe: Avoid crowds and groups. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others. When fishing from a boat, make sure it's large enough so persons on board are at least six feet from one another.
Stay home: If you're not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.
Be adaptive: Move quickly through parking lots and paths. If crowded, choose a different fishing location, or time to visit.