Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York residents and non-residents can fish for free without a fishing license on Veterans Day, Monday, November 11. New York's Free Fishing Days help encourage more people get outdoors and enjoy the many world-class fishing opportunities available.
"New York is home to some of the best fishing spots in the country," Governor Cuomo said. "Designating Veterans Day as one of our Free Fishing Days is just one way to acknowledge the bravery and significant contributions of our state's veterans while offering them the opportunity to enjoy all New York's world-class waters have to offer."
Legislation signed by the Governor in 2015 allowed an increase in the number of authorized statewide Free Fishing Days. Every year since, Veterans Day has been designated as a Free Fishing Day.
Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "Free Fishing Days encourage more people—whether novices or experts—to get outdoors and enjoy a diversity of fishing opportunities available in New York. Free fishing on Veterans Day recognizes the service of men and women in our armed forces and it's a great opportunity for experienced anglers to introduce friends or relatives to the sport. Angling and tourism are big economic drivers to the upstate economy. The state's continued improvements to hatcheries and DEC's sound fisheries management will ensure that New York's world-class fisheries remain second to none."
The Free Fishing Days program is administered by DEC as part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. The free fishing days program began in 1991, to give people who might not fish a chance to try the rewarding sport at no cost, introduce people to a new hobby and encourage people to support the sport by purchasing a New York State fishing license.
Free Fishing Day participants are reminded that, although the requirement for a fishing license is waived during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect. When not participating in Free Fishing Days, anyone 16 years of age and older must have a current State fishing license to fish in New York. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. More information on purchasing a fishing license can be found on DEC's website.
Fishing and hunting in New York build a sense of stewardship of fish and wildlife resources and habitats, provide an opportunity for experienced hunters and anglers to share their knowledge with others, and promote participation in hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting through the mentoring of young hunters and anglers. New York's hunters and anglers contribute an estimated $4.9 billion to the economy in spending, which supports more than 56,000 jobs and $623 million in state and local taxes.
To find out about angling opportunities near you, visit the Places to Fish pages on DEC's website.