Island Hopping

Family fishing and children’s festival in West Hempstead

Kids are sure to get hooked on fishing at the annual Fall Family Fishing and Children’s Festival at Hempstead Lake State Park in West Hempstead later this month.

Hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s FISH NY Program and Freshwater Fisheries Unit and the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, the free event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Festival activities include fishing with free loaner rods and bait, fishing instruction, casting instruction, and fish-cleaning services. In addition to fishing opportunities, there will be a children’s casting for pumpkins contest, live animal show, magician, pumpkin decorating, fish printing, and children’s slide, in addition to DEC and State Parks displays.  

The fishing license requirement for all anglers over the age of 16 is suspended for this festival, and admission and parking are free. 

The children’s casting for pumpkins contest will be held for as long as pumpkins last, during which kids can “catch” a pumpkin and “hook” a prize. Casting contest prizes are provided by I FISH NY and State Parks. 

Prior to the festival, State Parks will stock South and McDonald ponds in Hempstead Lake State Park with brook and rainbow trout.

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