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For Release: Thursday, April 23, 2015

DEC Celebrates Earth Day with New Trout Stocking Efforts in Cayuga Creek

New stocking location expands access to public fishing opportunities near Buffalo

New trout stocking efforts are underway in Cayuga Creek near Buffalo in Erie County, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Abby Snyder announced today. With the help of local students, DEC stocked approximately 3,000 yearling Rainbow trout for the first time at various points along a mile-long stretch of Cayuga Creek within Como Lake Park, Lancaster, which offers unlimited public fishing access. The announcement is in honor of Earth Week, April 19-25, which Governor Cuomo proclaimed as a weeklong celebration of New York's commitment and accomplishments to protecting our environment, conserving open space, increasing access to the state's vast and magnificent natural resources, implementing clean energy initiatives and preparing for the effects of climate change.

"Through Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, DEC is expanding access for anglers," said Regional Director Abby Snyder. "Stocking efforts in this new location will help to enhance trout fishing opportunities for anglers who live near Buffalo. We encourage New Yorkers to get outside and enjoy our incredible outdoor resources not just on Earth Day, but every day."

"Anything we can do to enhance opportunities in Erie County for fishing enthusiasts to better enjoy their leisure time should be commended," said Erie County Parks Commissioner Troy P. Schinzel. "Expanding access and providing further incentive for people to get out and enjoy the great outdoors is an indication that New York State and Erie County are committed to improving public fishing opportunities for all residents."

"The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs commends DEC for its commitment to providing recreational inland trout fishing for the sportsmen and women of New York State," said Chuck Godfrey, President of the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen. "It's gratifying to see DEC's continuing efforts to increase fishing opportunities in an urban/suburban environment. Erie County sells the most fishing licenses of any County in the State, so it's great to see the increasing of inland trout fishing opportunities here in the County. Using this County Park, with its large amount of public access to Cayuga Creek will help introduce young people to the sport. They are the future of our outdoor sports and our future environmental stewards."

"When we promote fishing in public access waterways like Como Park Lake and Cayuga Creek, we also promote outdoor discovery, family fishing fun and unity with ecology and nature for our present and future generations," said Erie County Fishery Advisory Board Chairman Joe Fischer.

Volunteers and DEC staff stocked Cayuga Creek with yearling Rainbow trout that were reared in DEC's Caledonia Hatchery. Each year in Region 9, DEC's Fish Hatcheries stock approximately 250 miles of streams and 29 ponds and inland lakes, with 176,500 yearly trout, (Brown trout, Rainbow Trout and Brook Trout), plus another 13,000 two year old Brown Trout, in addition to separate Lake Erie, Niagara River or Lake Ontario stockings.

Fishing is an outdoor activity for all seasons in New York State. DEC encourages the public to take advantage of the many free fishing events that will take place this season across the state; a full list of events is available on DEC's website along with weekly updated fishing hotlines and Public Fishing Rights Maps. New York's Free Fishing weekend, which enables anyone to fish New York waters without a license, will take place on June 27-28 and is a great time to introduce someone to the sport of fishing.

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 Enacted 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 creates 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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