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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 2/23/2024: Check this page often as new events are added throughout the year.
Date & Time
|Lawson Lake Winter Festival
|This event is canceled due to unsafe ice conditions. If conditions improve, it will be held on the alternative date of 3/9 – stay tuned!
|Lawson Lake County Park, 293 Lawson Lake Road, Feura Bush, NY 12067
|Albany County Department of Recreation
|Albany County Department of Recreation: 518-768-2560
|Learn to Fish with Westerlo Public Library
|Town of Westerlo Veterans Memorial Park, 950 County Route 401, Westerlo, NY 12193
|Westerlo Public Library
|Westerlo Public Library: Amy Powarzynksi, 518-797-3415
Pre-registration required if loaner fishing gear is needed
|Gowanda Volunteer Fire Company Fishing Clinic
|Gowanda Fire Hall (Cattaraugus Creek), 230 Aldrich Street, Gowanda, NY 14070
|Gowanda Volunteer Fire Company & Lake Erie Chapter International Fly Fishers
Gowanda Volunteer Fire Company: Steve Raiport, 716-698-9947, [email protected]
For pre-registration and more details, visit the Gonawanda Fire Rescue website
|Town of Clifton Park Annual Learn to Fish Day
|Saturday, 6/1/2024 9AM-12:30PM
|Barney Road Pond, 1A Barney Road, Clifton Park, NY 12065
|Town of Clifton Park, Parks & Recreation
Town of Clifton Park, Parks and Recreation: Mike Woerner, 518-371-6667
For pre-registration and more details, visit the Clifton Park Parks & Recreation website
|Learn to Fly Fish at Connectquot River
(Alternative date: 7/28/2024)
|Connetquot River State Park Preserve, 4090 Sunrise Hwy, Oakdale, NY 11769
|Friends of Connetquot
|Friends of Connetquot: Janet Soley, 631-278-9935
Pre-registration will be available in June 2024 at the Friends of Connetquot website
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:
- Free Fishing Clinic Application For the Public or Organized Groups (PDF)
- Free Fishing Clinic Application For Veterans and Active-Duty Members of U.S Armed Forces (PDF)
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.
Browse through helpful information on getting started in fishing and how to improve your fishing skills.
Project Healing Waters
Free fishing opportunities for veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces.