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For Release: Thursday, April 23, 2015

DEC Announces First Annual Fishing Clinic in East Greenbush

Additional Fishing Opportunities Provided for Capital District Residents

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced a new effort to bring additional fishing opportunities to Rensselaer County. DEC will host the free sportfishing clinic from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 25. The clinic is part of Governor Cuomo's New York Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative and DEC's I FISH NY program.

"Based on the popular and successful trout stocking event and free sportfishing clinic held at Albany's Six Mile Waterworks each year, DEC will offer a similar program in East Greenbush Town Park," Commissioner Martens said. "Enhancing fishing opportunities and offering educational fishing events is a great way to get anglers of all abilities outside to enjoy the unmatched natural resources New York presents."

To provide an early season angling opportunity, DEC will stock the East Greenbush Town Park pond with 500 rainbow trout prior to the fishing event. The pond is also home to a variety of warm water fish species such as bluegill, pumpkinseed and largemouth bass.

DEC Fisheries staff will be available to teach participants about fish identification, angling equipment and techniques, safety and angling ethics. Fishing rods will be available to borrow and bait will be provided.

Free sportfishing clinics allow participants to fish for free where 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 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.

East Greenbush Town Park is located off Town Park Road in East Greenbush. For information about the event, contact DEC's Bureau of Fisheries at (518) 402-8891.

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