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For Release: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Free Ice Fishing Clinic Set for Saturday, March 7 in Greenwich

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the New York Conservation Officers Association (NYCOA) will co-host a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, March 7 at the Carters Pond Wildlife Management Area in the town of Greenwich, Washington County, DEC Region 5 Director Bob Stegemann announced today. The event is co-sponsored by the Washington County Federation of Sportsmen.

"This is a great opportunity for families to learn about the sport of ice fishing and the outstanding fishing opportunities found in New York State," Director Stegemann said. "This event is geared toward youth and others who are new to the sport."

Spikes, tackle, loaner jigging rods and instruction will be available for all participants. Supplies are limited, so people are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have it. Bait will be provided thanks to Country Pets of Hudson Falls. Anglers can expect to catch crappies, perch, and bluegills.

Carters Pond Parking Area is located along State Route 49 in Greenwich, Washington County. More information, including a map can be found on the DEC website at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/24402.html.

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.

A fire, hot dogs and hot chocolate will be available to warm participants. For more information about the event contact event coordinator Environmental Conservation Officer Steve Gonyeau 518-567-2104.

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 fishing opportunities, visit DEC's fishing webpage at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html.

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