Seen here in June 2019, John St. Germain fishes off a rocky island on the Grasse River in Canton. The state Department of Environmental Conservation is offering one of its six annual free fishing opportunities this weekend. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

Facilitated by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, one of six annual Free Fishing Weekends will be offered Saturday and Sunday.

New York residents and non-residents are permitted to fish for free without a fishing license. Although the DEC is waiving the requirement for a fishing license during free fishing days, all other fishing regulations remain in effect.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DEC encourages all anglers, new and experienced, to recreate locally and seek out fishing opportunities close to home.

Recreationists are asked to abide by the following DEC guidelines to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus:

Fish local: Stay close to home, keep your fishing trip short and avoid high-traffic destinations.

Be safe: Avoid crowds and groups. Keep a distance of six feet or more from others. When fishing from a boat, make sure it’s large enough so people on board are at least six feet from one another.

Stay home: If you’re not feeling well, stay home. Anyone 70 and older or with a compromised immune system should postpone their trip.

Be adaptive: Move quickly through parking lots and paths. If crowded, choose a different fishing location, or time to visit. Anglers fishing from boats should be able to maintain at least six feet of distance between one another.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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