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Free Learn to Fish Clinics

Participate in a Learn to Fish Clinic

Learn how to fish for free at an upcoming sport fishing clinic organized and conducted by DEC and numerous other organizations. In addition to casting a rod and catching fish, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics, aquatic ecology, and more!

During these clinics no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the recreational marine fishing registry is required*, but all other statewide freshwater fishing regulations and saltwater fishing regulations remain in effect (*Kids under 16 can always fish for free!).

Upcoming Clinic Events

Last updated on 5/17/2023: Check this page often as new events are added throughout the year.

2023 Free Fishing Clinics
Event Date & Time Location City/Town County Event Organizer Contact
South Otselic Fish Hatchery Annual Fishing Heritage Day Saturday, 5/20
South Otselic Fish Hatchery, 1549 State Rte. 26, South Otselic, NY 13155 South Otselic Chenango DEC and Trout Unlimited Jim Everard, DEC Region 7: (607) 753-3095 (ext. 401)
Women's Fly Fishing Clinic at Sprague Brook County Park Saturday, 5/20
Sprague Brook County Park, 9674 Foote Road, Glenwood, NY 14069 Glenwood Erie Western New York Trout Unlimited Dolores Sheehan, Trout Unlimited: (716) 866-0593
Ted Kot Annual Youth Free Fishing Day at Wilson Hill Boat Launch Saturday, 5/20
(Rain date: Sunday, 5/21)
Wilson Hill Boat Launch (St. Lawrence River), 1 Wilson Hill Causeway, Louisville, NY 13662 Massena St. Lawrence Massena Recreation Commission Mike McCabe, Massena Recreation: (315) 769-3161
DEC Pop-Up Fishing Clinic at Kissena Lake Thursday, 6/1
Kissena Park, 160-2 Oak Ave, Queens, NY 11365 (N. shore of Kissena Lake near comfort station) Queens Queens DEC DEC Region 2 Fisheries:

Space is limited (First come, first served). Email for more information and weather related updates.
DEC Pop-Up Fishing Clinic at Van Cortlandt Tuesday, 6/6
Wednesday, 6/7
Van Cortlandt Park, 115 Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NY 10471 (Near golf course clubhouse) Bronx Bronx DEC DEC Region 2 Fisheries:

Space is limited (First come, first served). Email for more information and weather related updates.
Town of Clifton Park Annual Learn to Fish Day Saturday, 6/3
9 AM-12:30PM
Barney Road Park, 1A Barney Pond Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065 Clifton Park Saratoga Town of Clifton Park Parks and Recreation Mike Woerner, Town of Clifton Park Parks and Recreation: (518) 371-6667
Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery Annual Family Fishing Clinic Saturday, 6/3
Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery, County Route 321, Elbridge, NY Elbridge Onondaga DEC, Onondaga County Parks,& Friends of Carpenter's Brook Fish Hatchery Jim Everard, DEC Region 7: (607) 753-3095 (ext. 401) or Carpenter's Brook Hatchery (315) 689-9367
Jimmy Griffin Teach Me to Fish Clinic Sunday, 6/4
(Rain date: 6/11)
12PM - 3PM
Bison City Rod & Gun Club, 205 O'Connell Ave, Buffalo, NY 14210 Buffalo Erie Bison City Rod & Gun Club William Conway, Bison City Rod & Gun Club: (716) 812-8345
Get Outdoors & Get Together Day Saturday, 6/10
Multiple Locations:
Hempstead Lake State Park, Mt. Loretto Unique Area, Stony Kill Farm, Kenneth L. Wilson Campground & Day Use Area, North-South Lake Campground, Ausable Point Campground & Day Use Area, Lowville Demonstration Area, Rogers Environmental Education Center, Taughannock Falls State Park, Sunken Meadow State Park, Lake Taghkanic State Park, Saratoga Spa State Park, Chenango Valley State Park, Grafton Lakes State Park, Allegany State Park, Darien Lakes State Park and Buffalo Harbor State Park
DEC & NY State Parks For more details on these events visit the DEC Get Outdoors & Get Together Day page or the NYS State Parks Get Outdoors & Get Together Day site (leaves DEC site)
Teach Me To Fish Event at Tifft Nature Preserve Saturday, 6/10
Tifft Nature Preserve (Lake Kirsty), 1200 Fuhrmann Blvd, Buffalo, NY 14203 Buffalo Erie DEC and Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Michael Todd, DEC Region 9: (716) 851-7013
Fishing Clinic For Families and Veterans on Conesus Lake Saturday, 6/10
Chip Holt Nature Center, Vitale Park (Conesus Lake), Rte 20A, Lakeville, NY 14480 Lakeville Livingston Chip Holt Nature Center Matt Sanderson, Chip Holt Nature Center:

For more details on this event, visit the Chip Holt Nature Center website (leaves DEC site)
Fishing at the Gantries Most Saturdays from 6/10 through 10/28
(not held on 6/17, 8/19, 9/9 & 10/14)
Gantry Plaza State Park - Pier 4 (East River), 4-09 47th Rd., Long Island City, NY 10007 Long Island City Queens NY State Parks Jenna Marie Otero, NY State Parks: (917) 648-1442

For more details and to register for these events, visit the Gantry Plaza State Park Eventbrite site (leaves DEC site)
Public Fishing: Rod and Reel at Brooklyn Bridge Park Sunday, 6/18
Sunday, 8/27
Saturday, 9/9
Pier 5, Brooklyn Bridge Park, 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park Drive, Brooklyn, NY 11201 Brooklyn Kings Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy: (718) 412-1035;

For more details on this event, visit the Brooklyn Bridge Park website (leaves DEC site)
DEC Pop-Up Fishing Clinic at Prospect Park Tuesday, 6/20
Thursday, 6/22
Prospect Park, 101 East Dr., Brooklyn, NY 11225 (near Lefrak Center) Brooklyn Kings DEC DEC Region 2 Fisheries:

Space is limited (First come, first served). Email for more information and weather related updates.
Teach Me to Fish Clinic at Chestnut Ridge Park Saturday, 6/24
Chestnut Ridge County Park Pond, Route 277, Orchard Park, NY 14127 Orchard Park Erie DEC and Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs Brad Britt, NYSDEC Region 9: (716) 533-4070
DEC Pop-Up Fishing Clinic at Harlem Meer Thursday, 6/29
Central Park, 55 W 110 St., Manhattan, NY 10026 Manhattan New York DEC DEC Region 2 Fisheries:

Space is limited (First come, first served). Email for more information and weather related updates.

Check the DEC Events Calendar for other outdoor and educational fish or wildlife events for you and your family to enjoy.

Apply to Conduct or Co-host a Clinic

Formal groups or organizations can host a free fishing clinic by completing and submitting an application. Details on how to apply along with the rules for running a clinic are available in the following applications.

Conduct a Free Fishing Clinic Applications:

Other Helpful Information

Free Fishing Days/Weekends
Take advantage of NY's free fishing days designated during several dates throughout the year; no recreational fishing license is required to fish these days!

Fishing Rod Loaner Program
Rent fishing rods, bobbers, and hooks from public libraries and parks; offers a great opportunity while you learn how to fish without needing to purchase your own fishing equipment!

I FISH NY Beginner's Guide to Freshwater Fishing
Learn about all the basics of fishing in this helpful how-to guide.

Fishing Skills
Browse through helpful information on getting started in fishing and how to improve your fishing skills.

Project Healing Waters (leaves DEC website)
Free fishing opportunities for veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces.