Free Fishing Event on South Bay this weekend

T he Department of Environmental Conservation is hoping to promote the activity of fishing this weekend as it hosts a “Free Fishing Event” on South Bay.

The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 30, at the John A. Brooks Memorial Fishing Pier on South Bay in Whitehall, enables anyone, regardless of age, to fish without a license.

Ordinarily, anyone over the age of 16 is required to obtain a license before fishing.

“Free fishing events provide the perfect chance for families to learn how to fish,” Robert Stegemann, DEC’s regional director, said in a release. “This event is a great opportunity for those young and old to try fishing for the first time.”

The event, which is part of the I Fish NY program, is an initiative by the state to provide the knowledge and opportunity for anyone who would like to fish to do so, while at the same fostering a sense of environmental stewardship.

It’s estimated that New York’s fishing industry generates $1.8 billion in economic activity every year, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.

Fishing supplies, including bait, tackle, rods and adaptive equipment will be available, although organizers encourage anyone with their own gear to bring it.

During the event, biologists and conservation officers from DEC will join with members of the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen’s Club to provide instruction on the use of gear, fishing techniques, aquatic biology and fish identification.

Due to the design of the fishing pier, people of all ages and abilities can use the structure and handicapped accessible parking is available.

The event is open to anyone. All applicable fishing laws and regulations (with the exception of a license) are in effect during the event.

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