New York State (NYS) Free Fishing Days will take place this weekend, June 23-24. This annual event started in 1991 to encourage people to try fishing. My husband has his fishing license and my children aren’t required to have one so he uses the annual Free Fishing Days as an opportunity to introduce someone new to the sport.
New York State doesn’t give much away for free so why not take advantage of this opportunity and relax by a stream or on a pond, casting for some of the various strains of stocked breed and wild catch.
For residents of NYS a one-day fishing license is still $5 and remains $15 for non-residents. That may be an inexpensive option for the infrequent angler. There are other licensing options ranging from a full week to a year.
There are other ways to play “fish hooky” without a license. Annually the Department of Environmental Education holds a series of free fishing clinics that not only allow all ages to experience fishing without a license but also participate in workshops that assist with fish identification, equipment, techniques, angling ethics and aquatic ecology.
If you just want to see the various breeds of fish, schedule a visit to one of the various fish hatcheries around the Adirondacks. Free tours are available at the facilities. Swing by after spending some time out in nature.
The nice thing about fishing is that a boat is not required. Choose from many of the Adirondack riverbanks and streams. Please make sure you are on state-owned land or are adhering to the access provided by any public fishing rights.
Public fishing rights are DEC easements negotiated with landowners to allow access to privately owned ponds or shorelines. The easements do not include rights for swimming, camping, boating, hunting, trapping or picnicking.
Sitting in a boat or along the shoreline and relaxing while others fish is really what I enjoy the most. My daughter loves to fish. My son can take it or leave it. My daughter can sit on the dock or boat ,with the patience of a saint, wiggling a line in the water hoping that something is going to take a nibble. I just bring along a book.
Even if catching fish isn’t on the agenda Free Fishing Days are a great way to connect with family and get back to nature.