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For Release: Monday, March 16, 2015

DEC Invites The Public To North Country Bass Season Meetings

The public will have an opportunity learn about the biology that guides bass fishing seasons in Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties and discuss other topics related to bass fishing at informational meetings being held in March, the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

"New York is committed to offering great bass fishing opportunities in the North County, and these meetings will provide an opportunity to discuss the science critical to maintaining healthy bass populations, including the rationale for not allowing pre-season catch-and-release," Region 6 Natural Resource Supervisor Fred Munk said.

The meetings will be held:

  • Tuesday, March 24: 7 p.m. -- VFW Edward Seymour Post 1231, 34 Gouverneur Street, Canton, St. Lawrence County. This meeting is hosted by the St. Lawrence County Fishery Advisory Board.
  • Tuesday, March 31: 7 p.m. -- Dulles State Office Building, first floor conference room, 317 Washington Street, Watertown, Jefferson County.

The eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River are unique because their cold water ecology presents multiple stresses that impact this important bass fishery. DEC and Cornell researchers will make a short presentation at the start of the meetings, including updates on the status of bass fisheries in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The meetings will provide ample time for public comments. For further information contact Frank Flack, Region 6 Fisheries Manager in Watertown at (315) 785-2263.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is 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 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.

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