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The festival is a great way to introduce kids and adults to fishing and the great outdoors.
By NYDEC  |  October 4, 2017
Youngsters and adults take advantage of the stocked waters in Hempstead Lake State Park during last year’s festival.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) I FISH NY Program’s annual Fall Family Fishing Festival will be held on Saturday, October 21st, at Hempstead Lake State Park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. DEC’s I FISH NY Program and Freshwater Fisheries Unit is sponsoring the event along with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

"The Fall Family Fishing Festival is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and learn something about the great fun of freshwater fishing," DEC Regional Director Carrie Meek Gallagher said. "The festival combines the opportunity to fish with a variety of activities for children to guarantee a fun outdoor experience for families."

A fishing license is not required to fish at this event and admission and parking are free. The festival begins at 10 a.m. with casting practice, loaner rods, free bait, and fish-cleaning services. The festival will also feature displays by Trout Unlimited, DEC Environmental Education, OPRHP, as well as other fishing and environmental organizations.

Children's activities will begin at 10 a.m. and include pumpkin decorating, the Raptor Project Show, a bounce slide, and face painting. Participants can catch a pumpkin or "hook" a prize in a casting contest. Casting contest prizes are provided by I FISH NY, OPRHP, The Fisherman Magazine, and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Prior to the festival, OPRHP will stock South and McDonald ponds in Hempstead Lake State Park with hundreds of brook and rainbow trout. DEC stocks several water bodies in Nassau and Suffolk counties with brown trout in October, including: Upper Twin Pond, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Reservoir, and 12 other Suffolk County lakes. Completed by mid-October, these stockings will provide excellent prospects for fall fishing. A second DEC stocking will occur in November.

For more information about the Festival or weather concerns, please call DEC’s I FISH NY at 631-444-0283 or Hempstead Lake State Park 516-766-1029 for event status. There is no rain date for this event.

For more information about the fall trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk counties, call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280. General information on freshwater fishing on Long Island can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7951.html and more info at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html.

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