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For Release: Monday, April 6, 2015

DEC to Stock Albany's Rensselaer Lake for Free Fishing Event

Weeklong Event to Provide Free Fishing Opportunities

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today hosted a free sportfishing clinic and trout stocking event in Rensselaer Lake at Albany's Six Mile Waterworks. The clinic is part of Governor Cuomo's New York Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative and DEC's I FISH NY program.

"What better way to celebrate the end of a long winter than to get outdoors and fish," Commissioner Martens said. "Getting more people involved in the sport of fishing is an important component of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. These events provide great opportunity for new fishermen and women to be introduced to the sport and can inspire anglers that haven't been out in some time to test the waters. I encourage New Yorkers and visitors to take advantage of the many free fishing events that will take place this season across the state."

Six Mile Waterworks is home to Rensselaer Lake, which contains a variety of freshwater fish species including largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead and most recently, rainbow trout. DEC stocks the lake with approximately 2,000 catchable-size rainbow trout for the event. Six Mile Waterworks is just one of more than 312 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams that will be stocked by DEC's 12 fish hatcheries. DEC plans to stock more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in 2015.

After the stocking at today's event, participants had the opportunity to take to the water and spend some time with knowledgeable DEC Fisheries staff to learn about fish identification, angling equipment and techniques, fisheries management, and angling ethics. In addition, L.L. Bean staff were on hand demonstrating fly casting techniques.

"Spring is here, but the effects of winter remain visible," Commissioner Martens added. "While the ice cover is rapidly melting on Rensselaer Lake and may prevent anglers from fishing open water earlier on the week, trout fishing opportunities should be plentiful towards the end of the week or soon thereafter."

DEC staff will be at Six Mile Waterworks the remainder of the week (Tuesday-Friday, April 7-10) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide angling assistance. This event coincides with spring recess for many Capital District schools, making it the ideal opportunity for families to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors. Large groups that plan on attending are encouraged to call (518) 402-8891 to ensure adequate staff are present to assist.

Six Mile Waterworks provides good trout fishing opportunities throughout the spring, especially as the water warms up. Early in the season, trout are more apt to bite on artificial lures, such as spinners and spoons, which seem to be most effective. Sunfish will begin to move into shallow water to begin spawning in the later spring months. A simple bobber and worm rig is always a great option.

These events are designated as free sportfishing events which are fishing clinics where participants can fish for free and no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is required. Participants should note that all applicable fishing laws and regulations remain in effect during the event. Free sportfishing clinics are held throughout the state. For information on conducting a clinic or for a list of current clinics scheduled, visit DEC's website.

Ordinarily, anyone 16 years of age and older who desires to fish in New York must have a New York State fishing license. New York State reduced license fees in 2014 for both resident and non-resident anglers, making fishing in New York more affordable than ever. Buying a license has also been made more convenient. Anglers can purchase their license and print them for immediate use on their home computer from DEC's website. Anglers can also purchase their license by phone by calling 1-866-933-2257, or from the numerous license issuing agents across the state. Those purchasing by phone will receive a confirmation number that can be used as proof of purchase until they receive their actual license by mail. Fishing licenses are now valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. Anglers interested in purchasing a lifetime fishing license should consider a New York State Adventure license which is incorporated on their NY Drivers' License. Additional information can be found at: License Center website (link leaves DEC website).

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 initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, providing Adventure Plates for license holders. A significant component of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is the improvement of access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. NY Works has dedicated a combined $22 million in funding for fish hatchery repairs and more than 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

In addition, over $6 million has been invested over the past five years in developing new and renovating existing boat launches. The 2015-16 budget provides an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. This year's budget also created 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.

New Fishing Opportunity in the Capital District
Based on the success of the annual Six Mile Waterworks event, DEC will provide a similar opportunity in Rensselaer County. The pond in East Greenbush Town Park will be stocked with rainbow trout by April 24, followed by a free sportfishing clinic to be held on April 25. This event will be open to all members of the public. Further details will be provided in a future press release.

Library Fishing Rod Program
Albany residents can also participate in a program through the Albany Public Library that provides fishing rods for loan. The main branch at 161 Washington Avenue has a limited number of fishing rods that are available to library card holders. In addition, the Cohoes, Middleburgh, Scotia and Rensselaerville public libraries participate in the rod lending program for library members.

Six Mile Waterworks is located off of Fuller Road between Washington and Central avenues. For more information about the Six Mile Waterworks event, contact DEC's Bureau of Fisheries at (518) 402-8891.

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