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This Saturday and Sunday, June 27 and 28, are Free Fishing Days in New York State. During this designated weekend, New York State residents can fish for free without a fishing license. However, all other fishing regulations as designated through the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) remain in effect.

"As our region and state reopens, this weekend is a great opportunity for many of us who have spent much of our recent time inside, to get out and enjoy some outdoor recreation. There are so many tremendous fishing opportunities throughout our region and especially during Great Outdoors Month, this is the perfect time to take advantage!," New York State Senator Pam Helming said Tuesday.

The Free Fishing Days program is administered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) as part of Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. The upcoming Free Fishing Days are among six planned for 2019, including September 28 (National Hunting and Fishing Day), and November 11 (Veterans Day). The free fishing days program began in 1991 to give people who might not fish a chance to try the rewarding sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license. Legislation signed by the Governor in 2014 increased the number of authorized statewide free fishing days from two each year.

In addition to the Free Fishing Days program, NY Open for Fishing and Hunting allows organizations and groups to host free fishing clinics. People who want to learn how to fish can take advantage of the various fishing education programs conducted by DEC and other groups throughout the state. A complete list of 2019 Free Fishing Clinics is updated regularly. Upcoming clinics include June 27 in East Islip, Suffolk County; June 28 in Stuyvesant, Columbia County; and June 29 in Tuxedo, Orange County.

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. When not participating in Free Fishing Days or free fishingclinics, anyone 16 years of age and older must have a current State fishing license to fish in New York. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.

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