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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York residents can fish for free without a license in any of the 7,500 lakes and ponds or 70,000 miles of rivers and streams across the state on Saturday, September 28, 2019. Several events across the state are being hosted on National Hunting and Fishing Day to encourage more people, whether skilled or new to these sports, to get outdoors and enjoy the abundant hunting and fishing opportunities available across the State.

"Fishing and hunting are longstanding traditions in New York, with some of the best opportunities anywhere, and our state's active sporting community is a very important partner in ongoing conservation efforts," Cuomo said. "This Saturday, I encourage new and experienced anglers and hunters to get out and enjoy nature with family and friends by partaking in some of the events being held or enjoying time afield."

National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated on the fourth Saturday of September each year to promote outdoor activities like hunting, fishing, and target shooting. This month, Cuomo issued a proclamation recognizing September 28, 2019, as Hunting and Fishing Day in New York State and recognizing the benefits of the sports to participants, the state's natural resources, and the economy.

Hunting and fishing build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and habitats, provide an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others, and promote participation in hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting through the mentoring of young hunters and anglers. New York's hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes.

Through the purchase of New York sporting licenses, hunters and anglers also help generate an estimated $75 million to help conserve fish and wildlife, enhance habitat, and protect natural resources.

Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Hunting and fishing are cherished outdoor pursuits in New York. Cuomo officially proclaimed September 28, 2019, as Hunting and Fishing Day in the state, recognizing our rich heritage of hunting and fishing, and DEC is proud to work with our partners to offer exciting opportunities for New Yorkers of all ages to get outside this weekend."

New York State-hosted events to celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day on Sept. 28, include:
  • Open House and Family Day at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring hatchery tours, behind-the-scenes tours of the hatchery's inner workings, a viewing deck that will allow people to see migrating salmon, a laser shooting range, fishing demonstrations, and educational opportunities;
  • National Hunting and Fishing Day is a designated free fishing day in New York, which means anyone can fish the state's freshwaters and no fishing license is required;
  • DEC's Youth Pheasant Hunt occurs on Sept. 28 and 29 in northern and eastern parts of New York; and
  • DEC and OPRHP are hosting the first-ever Women's Fishing Expo at Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., providing hands-on instruction and experiential learning in a fun and supportive environment.

Additional hunting opportunities available on or before Sept. 28 include early goose season, ruffed grouse (Northern Zone), or early bear season in the Adirondacks.

There are also ample fishing opportunities this fall:
  • Waters are cooling and trout are becoming more active in ponds and streams. Fall is the perfect time to seek brook trout in an Adirondack pond. Fast fishing can also be found in streams and rivers. Trout season closes on many waters Oct. 15;
  • Check out the tributaries of Lake Ontario for Pacific salmon or Lake Champlain for Atlantic salmon. Fantastic steelhead fishing can also be found in many Lake Erie and Lake Ontario tributaries;
  • Look for New York's most widely distributed sportfish, largemouth and smallmouth bass, which can be found throughout the state from Montauk to Buffalo.

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