Albany, NY - June 19, 2015 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State residents and visitors may fish for free without a fishing license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams during the weekend of June 27-28. Saltwater anglers may also fish in marine waters for migratory marine fish species without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry.
In addition to the June free fishing weekend, legislation signed by Governor Cuomo now allows for an increase in the number of authorized yearly statewide free fishing days. This year, Veteran’s Day, November 11, has also been designated as a free fishing day.
“New York has some of the best fishing in the nation, and we’re making it easier than ever for people to come out and see all this state has to offer,” Governor Cuomo said. “These free fishing days are the perfect opportunity to cast a line and take in the great outdoors, and I encourage everyone to explore New York’s lakes and waterways this summer.”
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens said, “There’s really no better time to take someone fishing. The weather is warm, the fish are usually cooperative and beginners can give the sport a try while exploring some of our state’s great outdoor resources.”
Those interested in learning more about the sport of fishing are encouraged to attend one of 40 free fishing events held during throughout the summer. A list of these clinics can be found on the Department of Environmental Conservation’s website. The public should check back regularly as the list is updated with new events as they are received.
Anglers are reminded that although the requirement for a license and enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry has been waived during free fishing weekend, all other regulations remain in effect.
NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. In support of this initiative, last year $10 million in NY Works funding was dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.
Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Enacted Budget included an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. The Budget also creates a new capital account which along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.
Anyone 16 years of age and older who desires to fish on dates that are not designated as New York State Free Fishing Days must have a state fishing license. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase.
New York reduced license fees in 2014 for both resident and nonresident anglers, making fishing in New York more affordable than ever. Buying a license has also been made more convenient. Anglers can purchase their license and print it for immediate use on their home computer via the NY License Center. Anglers can also purchase their license by phone by calling 1-866-933-2257, or from the numerous license issuing agents across the state. Those purchasing over the phone will receive a confirmation number allowing them to fish immediately.
Those interested in purchasing a lifetime fishing license should consider a New York State Adventure license, which is incorporated on their NY Driver's License and provides a free fishing themed license plate.
Where to Fish
Anglers searching for places to fish should visit the Department of Environmental Conservation's fishing page. An interactive map of public fishing locations can also be found on the website.