State Holds First LI Event to Teach Women to Fish

The state held an event on Long Island geared to interesting women in and teaching them how to fish.

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Justanna Bohling and Kaitlin Grady prepare to teach a Girl Scout to fish.

Photo by: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Many Long Islanders, male and female, love to fish, Some travel to Montauk or elsewhere, to reach their favorite fishing spot. Others head out to beaches, hoping to catch a fish or two. And the weather lately has been right for those who love to fish.

The state, however, is making a push to get more women on Long Island to take up what it views a a still "male-dominated" sport.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day: teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," is a familiar saying.

Well, the same is true for women. And the state took that to heart as it held its first event in Suffolk designed to teach women to fish – and answer their questions.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation on Sept. 28 held its first Women’s Fishing Expo (in this region) at Belmont Lake State Park in Suffolk County.

The agency’s Freshwater Fisheries Unit for this region and I FISH NY Program touted its “very first Women’s Fishing Event/Expo specifically geared towards women and families.” 

“Participants learned basic and intermediate fishing skills, fly-fishing techniques, basic knots, fish filleting, fisheries management information, and other fishing-related activities,” according to the DEC.

Department of Environmental Conservation Officers Justanna Bohling and Kaitlin Grady and others answered questions and helped with fishing demonstrations.

“We want women to teach women and break through the male- dominated sport,” Heidi O’Riordan, Fisheries Unit Manager, Division of Fish and Wildlife, Region 1,in  Stony Brook, said in an online post.

Men were welcome, but there was a big push to get women to participate in this free “event hosted by women geared toward women and children, though everyone is invited.”