A view of Lake Ronkonkoma at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park....

A view of Lake Ronkonkoma at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park. (July 22, 2010) Credit: Brittany Wait

Aspiring anglers are invited to take part in a free freshwater fishing clinic on July 9 at the Brookhaven Town Beach in Lake Ronkonkoma.

The clinic, offered by the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the Brookhaven Department of Parks, Recreation and Sports, will run from 6 p.m. to sundown. Fishing rods and bait will be loaned to participants free of charge. Fishing licenses are not required.

The clinic will offer basic instruction on freshwater fish species, fishing regulations and casting techniques. To register or find more information, call 631-444-0283 or visit dec.ny.gov/outdoor/44804.html.

"The popularity of free freshwater fishing clinics continues to grow throughout Long Island," DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully said in a statement. "Free clinics of this nature are rare opportunities where the family can truly rediscover what their local area has to offer and potentially develop freshwater fishing into a hobby that provides a lifetime of fun and relaxation."

Residents and visitors will be allowed to fish state waters without a license Saturday and Sunday as part of the state's annual Free Fishing Days program. The program, which began in 1991, suspends fishing license requirements each year on the last full weekend in June.

The state has increased the number of free fishing days from two to eight. Additional dates will be announced this summer, the DEC said.

The moves are part of a state program to promote fishing and hunting by making it easier to obtain licenses, reducing license fees and improving access to fishing and hunting areas.

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