The Fishing Line - June 19th Issue

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
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The Fishing Line - June 19th Issue

Freshwater Fishing, Fisheries Management, and Fishing Access News

In This Issue:

  • Free Fishing Weekend - June 24-25
  • Doing our Part for Future Generations of Anglers
  • Highlight Hatchery - Randolph Fish Hatchery
  • DEC Introduces Next Step Courses 

Free Fishing Weekend - June 24-25Family fishing

Each year the last full weekend in June is designated as "Free Fishing Days" here in New York. This means anyone can fish the fresh waters of the state without a fishing license, making it a great opportunity to give it a try for the first time, introduce someone new to the sport, or reconnect with this fulfilling pastime.

Remaining Free Fishing Days in 2023 include September 23 (National Hunting & Fishing Day) and November 11 (Veterans Day). For a list of free fishing programs currently being offered visit our website. (The list is updated routinely, so check back often.)

Check out the following resources to help you plan your next trip on the water:

Places to Fish in New York
I FISH NY Beginners Guide to Freshwater Fishing (PDF)
Getting Started in Fishing Video Series

Doing Our Part for Future Generations of AnglersYoung girls holding fish

DEC reminds anglers to carry out what you carry in. Discarded bait containers, fishing line, and tackle not only ruin our natural spaces but can also negatively impact New York’s fish, wildlife, waterways, and ultimately, the communities we live in. Plastic does not readily biodegrade in the environment, so it can stick around for a long time and may eventually become microplastic pollution. As anglers and environmental stewards, we can do our part to "Leave No Trace" and keep our waterways clean.

Randolph Fish HatcheryHighlight Hatchery - Randolph Fish Hatchery

Location: 10943 Hatchery Rd., one-half mile west of Rt.394. Follow signs from the Rt. 86 Steamburg or Randolph exits.

Visitor Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Daily

Species Raised: Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout

Overview: From the second week of September through mid-October, staff collect close to 5.5 million eggs from broodstock brook, brown and rainbow trout and ship them out to other DEC hatcheries to be reared, then stocked. After egg quotas are met, broodstock are stocked in waters in Western NY.

Fun Fact: When construction of the present-day hatchery began in 1934, the remains of a Columbian mammoth were discovered. Today, the remains are on display at the Randolph Library.

Learn about other DEC's 12 Fish Hatcheries.

DEC introduces Next Step Courses

If you have taken a Hunter Education, Bowhunter Education, or Trapper Education certification course but still want some hands-on training, you are in luck!Firearm training

DEC's Hunter Education Program now offers Next Step Courses.

Firearms (rifle or shotgun) – learn about different types of rifles or shotguns, hands-on instruction in safe firearm handling and safe zones of fire, loading and unloading rifles or shotguns, shooting positions and stances, and target practice on the range;

Crossbow and Archery – learn about the parts of a crossbow or bow, how to hunt safely with a crossbow or bow, how to shoot a crossbow or bow, and target practice on the range; and

Trapping (water trapping or land trapping) and fur handling courses – learn safe, efficient, and humane trapping techniques for various furbearers trapped in the water (e.g., beaver, muskrat) or on land (e.g., coyote, raccoon), how to process furs and the equipment needed to do so, and how to use the furs including preparing them for market.

All Next Step courses are free, but registration is required. Supplies and equipment are provided by course instructors so students do not have to bring their own. Those interested will need their hunter or trapper education certificate number to register. The minimum age to take a Next Step course is 12. There is no certification offered with these courses.

To learn what Next Step courses are being offered, and to register, visit DEC’s website. Since these are new courses, availability may be limited. Hunters and trappers are encouraged to check back often as courses will continuously be added.

Outdoor 3D Archery & Wilderness Skills Day

Photo of ArcherWhen: Sunday June 25th, 11am-4pm

Where: Eugene and Agnes Meyer Nature Preserve (The Nature Conservancy)

Join NY Hunters of Color, The Nature Conservancy and New York BHA for a 3D Archery Shoot and Outdoor Skills training day!

All are welcome.

Transportation to and from NYC is provided!

Check out the flyer for more details.