Editor’s Log: Festival At Belmont This Saturday - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: Festival At Belmont This Saturday

The family fun fishing festival is coming up once again! New York State Parks and the New York Department of Environmental are once again hosting their annual Family Fishing Festival at Belmont State Park this upcoming April 13th.

Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and are provided free of charge. Activities include open fishing, fishing instruction, fly casting demonstrations, and fish cleaning services. DEC and local fishing clubs will also set up informational displays. Loaner rods and free bait will be available to all participants, and as the supply of loaner rods is limited, participants are encouraged to bring their fishing tackle if possible.

Children’s activities include the “Spring Fling” casting contest and hands-on educational displays by DEC’s Education Unit. Children participating in the casting contest can win some great prizes supplied by DEC’s I FISH NY Program and The Natural Heritage Trust. This event will be held rain or shine.

The Spring Family Fishing Festival has been designated a Free Fishing Event, so the freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers ages 16 and older has been suspended for this event only. After 4 p.m., anglers will need a valid NYS freshwater fishing license to legally fish.

Remember, if you do go, a vehicle use fee of $8 will be in effect. Parking is free for Empire Pass holders. The 2024 Empire Pass can also be purchased for $80 at state park offices or online.

The festival highlights DEC’s spring trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Before the festival, DEC will stock Belmont Lake with over 2,000 brown and brook trout. Additional brook and rainbow trout will be stocked by State Parks. In total, DEC’s spring stocking program, which is conducted by regional freshwater fisheries staff, staff from DEC’s Catskill Fish Hatchery and volunteers, will place over 16,000 brown trout and rainbow trout in over 20 ponds and streams in Nassau and Suffolk counties. A complete list of DEC fish stockings can be found by taking a look inside the April edition of The Fisherman Magazine right next to the news brief section. Also, keep in mind that in the fall, some of these lakes will receive a supplemental stocking that will keep anglers busy through the remainder of the fall, and these trout will also hold over into the winter for additional opportunities.

Keep in mind some newer trout regulation went into effect last year. All year the daily limit is five fish per person with no more than 2 longer than 12 inches. Special regulations apply to certain bodies of water in the area, which you can take a look at by visiting them. www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/124996.html. Spring trout stocking began in mid-March and will be completed by early May. For more information on any of this call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or Belmont Lake State Park at (631) 667-5055, or visit DEC’s Lean to Fish webpage.

I’ve always thought this was the time of the year that really kicks off the Long Island/Metro fishing season. This has been a traditional time of the year for ages and no better way to kick it off. If you are considering going to try your luck at the pond, don’t think twice, just go. I still love to take part in this fishing every year. Oh, and if you do decide to go, bring a kid fishing. I can surely say that trout fishing in the spring contributed to my love for fishing today. We hope to see you at the event.


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