Department of Environmental Conservation

D E C banner

Free Fishing Clinics

Free Sport Fishing Events are fishing programs where participants can fish for free; no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is required. In addition to fishing, participants can learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology. In addition to the Free Sport Fishing Events, 2021 free fishing days are as follows: February 13-14 (Presidents Day Weekend), June 26-27 (Free Fishing Weekend), September 25 (National Hunting and Fishing Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day) have also been designated as Free Fishing Days. During these days, anyone can fish the fresh waters of NY and no license is required.

New Rules for Attending a Free Sport Fishing Clinic During COVID-19

  • Clinics will be limited to no more than 25 total participants, so pre-registration is required.
  • A mask covering nose and mouth must be worn at all times.
  • A minimum of six feet must be maintained between instructors and participants.
  • A minimum of six feet must be maintained between participants except those that are of immediate family.
  • Equipment and bait will not be allowed to be shared during event (except for members of the same family/party)
  • With the exception of members of the same household/party, bait cups will not be shared.
  • Participants should bring their own hand sanitizer.
  • Anglers will be instructed on unhooking their own fish. If unable to do so, program staff may assist provided that 6' of distance is maintained.

Upcoming Fishing Clinics

None at this time. Check back soon!