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For Release: Friday, February 6, 2015

DEC to Host Canadarago Lake Ice Fishing Clinic

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Otsego County Federation of Sportsmen and the New York Farm Bureau are co-sponsoring a free ice fishing clinic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, February 14 at Canadarago Lake in Otsego County, DEC Region 4 Director Keith Goertz announced today.

"This event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the unique sport of ice fishing and how to better enjoy New York's natural resources in the winter," Goertz said. "This event is non-competitive and geared toward anglers of any age that are new to the sport of ice fishing."

Yellow perch and chain pickerel are abundant in Canadarago Lake, while sunfish, black crappie, rock bass, black bass and walleye are also present.

The event will be held at the public boat launch about three miles south of Richfield Springs on the west side of the lake off Route 28. A warming area and refreshments will be available. DEC will supply most of the bait and tackle but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. There will be a short lesson on the basics of ice fishing and filleting your catch, and DEC staff and volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to assist participants on the ice.

Ice fishing is an example of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. In support of this initiative, $10 million in NY Works funding has been dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Executive Budget proposes to establish an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. The Budget also proposes to create a new capital account which along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.

To further encourage fishing in New York State, Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2012 expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer.

While a DEC fishing license is not required for this event, all other statewide regulations remain in effect. Normally, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a fishing license to fish or assist with fishing in fresh waters of NYS.

To learn more about New York's aquatic resources, visit DEC's website.

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