On the River: Free Boating & Fishing

Weekly Free Public Boating

Saturdays, 10 am-2 pm

through October 15, 2022

Our free public boating programs are suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. We provide all equipment and instruction for kayaking or rowboating. All boating programs take place at the Bartram’s Garden Community Boathouse, located at the base of the meadow. This is a very safe and quiet stretch of the river. There are no strong currents or biting fish.

No registration or experience is required. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. See bartramsgarden.org for an FAQ.

Check bartramsgarden.org for all upcoming boating opportunities. Program may be canceled in the event of inclement weather or unsafe river conditions.


More than 40 species of fish live in the Tidal Schuylkill River, including channel catfish, white perch, common carp, bluegill, and American eel.

Free Weekly Catch-and-Release Fishing

Wednesdays, 5–8 pm

through August 31, 2022

We provide free rods, tackle, bait, and basic instruction for catch-and-release fishing every Wednesday from 5–8 pm in spring and summer. First-come, first-served as supplies are limited. No experience is necessary; great for beginner anglers. No fishing license required.

Program may be canceled in the event of inclement weather or unsafe river conditions.

Rods, Tackle, and Bait

Visitors may fish at any time from our public dock or from additional riverfront locations along the North and South Mile. Live bait is available for purchase from our cash-only vending machine located in the Barnyard by the Welcome Center.

Rods and tackle are available to borrow, free of charge, from the Welcome Center, open every day from 9 am–4 pm. Equipment may be borrowed for up to a week at a time.

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