Parks Corner

DEC to Host First-Ever Women’s Fishing Expo

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) announced that the agencies are holding the first-ever Women’s Fishing Expo at Belmont Lake State Park on Saturday, Sept. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“Women are a vital and fast-growing segment of New York’s angling and outdoor recreation community,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “The Women’s Fishing Expo will give participants the skills and knowledge necessary to feel confident about getting outdoors and fishing, and hopefully introduce a new generation of women and girls to this amazing sport.”

State Parks Commissioner Erik Kulleseid said, “Fishing is an enjoyable way to interact with New York State’s beautiful natural surroundings throughout the year. I thank our partners at DEC for helping introduce more women to this delightful and lifelong sport.”

The Women’s Fishing Expo will provide hands-on instruction and experiential learning in a fun and supportive environment. This event will be run primarily by female anglers, deckhands, and fisheries scientists, and women-owned businesses and fishing clubs are also encouraged to attend. Although the primary focus will be on women and families, all interested anglers are encouraged to attend.

Expo activities begin at 10 a.m. and are provided free of charge. Participants will be able to learn about fishing opportunities on Long Island and statewide, fishing basics and intermediate fishing skills, basic knots, fish filleting, fly-fishing demonstrations, casting demos, fisheries management information, shellfishing information, and other fishing-related activities.

According to the most recent National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation conducted by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, women now make up more than 25 percent of all anglers, a number that has increased over the last several decades.

The Women’s Fishing Expo coincides with National Hunting and Fishing Day, a designated Free Fishing Day in New York State, so the freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers age 16 and older is suspended.

This is a rain or shine event. For more information call the DEC’s I FISH NY Program at (631) 444-0283.

A vehicle use fee of $8 will be in effect. Parking is free for Empire Passport holders. The 2019 Empire Passport can be purchased for $80 at state park offices, or online at

For information about freshwater fishing on Long Island, call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280, e-mail or visit

Governor Cuomo has expanded recreational opportunities for residents and tourists, positioning New York State as a recreation destination, connecting communities to state lands, and improving the quality of life. Governor Cuomo’s NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing, and increasing hunting opportunities in the state. In support of this initiative, $10 million in NY Works funding has been dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails, and parking areas.

To further encourage fishing, Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2012 expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York has to offer.

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