ALBANY — New York State is honoring veterans with the final free fishing day of 2021 on Thursday.

New York’s Free Fishing Days encourage more people to get outdoors each season to enjoy the state’s world-class fishing opportunities.

“We thank all of New York’s veterans for their service to our county and hope that the upcoming free fishing day provides an opportunity to spend time with family and friends or even the chance to introduce someone new to the sport,” said state Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos in a news release. “This year, anglers can expect expanded fishing opportunities throughout the state thanks to our recently implemented Trout Stream Management Plan and take advantage of a catch-and-release trout season on inland trout streams.”

New this year, DEC is increasing fishing opportunities for anglers with the State’s new catch-and-release trout stream season. The new season, which began on Oct. 16 and runs through March 31, expands opportunities for anglers so they can enjoy New York’s trout stream fishing resources year-round. Anglers are required to use only artificial lures and immediately release trout they catch.

The catch-and-release season applies to trout streams only. Anglers should consult DEC’s regulations guide for regulations associated with lakes and ponds that harbor trout before fishing.

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 or older must have a current State fishing license to fish in New York. Fishing licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. More information on purchasing a fishing license can be found on DEC’s website, https://www.dec.ny.gov/.

DEC’s Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to give people who might not fish the opportunity to try the sport at no cost, as well as to encourage people to support conservation by purchasing a New York State fishing license.

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