DEC making it easy to learn fishing

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is making it as easy as possible to learn the sport of fishing — an outdoor activity that is challenging, relatively inexpensive and family friendly. This weekend, Saranac Lake will host a free DEC fishing clinic.

Fishing is one of those popular Adirondack activities that can be done solo, in tandem with a buddy or with a small group, such as a family. You can fish from the shore or from a boat. You can fish the big waters such as Lake Champlain, backcountry streams or ponds such as those in the St. Regis Canoe Area, or smaller lakes such as Lake Colby, the site of the DEC’s free fishing clinic on Sunday, Aug. 1.

Summer staff from the DEC will teach fishing basics from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lake Colby boat launch on state Route 86. Afterward, participants will be able to practice their skills on the lake — for free. No fishing license is needed for this event. Children under the age of 18 must be supervised by an adult at all times, and drop-offs are not allowed. Pre-registration is required at www.eventbrite.com/o/nys-dec-summer-youth-program-33579662673.

This clinic is part of the I FISH NY program. It is only one program the state offers to encourage fishing. The DEC also offers free fishing days throughout the calendar year. The next ones are on Sept. 25 (National Hunting and Fishing Day) and Nov. 11 (Veterans Day). Anyone can fish the fresh waters of New York without a license during free fishing days.

The DEC gives a detailed I FISH NY Beginners’ Guide to Freshwater Fishing at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/98506.html.

The DEC is doing its best to make you an angler — in all 12 months of the year — and we encourage you to take advantage of fishing in New York state, especially here in the great outdoors of the Adirondack Park.