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For Release: Friday, April 24, 2015

Department of Environmental Conservation Officially Opens New Grout Brook Fishing/Parking Access Site

Site is one of 12 New Fishing/Parking Access Sites Completed in the Region

DEC Regional Director Kenneth Lynch today officially opened the new Grout Brook fishing/parking access site in the town of Scott (Cortland County). The site is one of 12 new fishing/parking access sites the DEC is completing in the region with $120,000 in NY Works funding from the State. Upon completion of the opening, attendees took a short field trip to review the work completed to date at the City of Syracuse Docks on Skaneateles Lake.

"The completion of the Grout Book fishing/parking area and numerous other sites throughout the region makes it easier for sportsmen and sportswomen to access the great fishing resources that we have in New York State," said Lynch. "Central New York has some of the best fishing spots in the state, and we appreciate receiving NY Works funds so that we can make these sites available to local anglers and those who visit the area."

DEC has completed ten new fishing and parking access sites in the region. Six of these sites include new signage. In addition to these projects, an accessible fishing pier will be completed at the southwest end of Skaneateles Lake by rehabilitating the City of Syracuse owned docks. This site will include a universally accessible canoe and kayak launch and accessible parking. A six-car angler parking area was completed at the site in 2014, and the remaining work is slated to be finished later this year.

DEC is working to complete several other sites that will improve access for sportsmen and sportswomen. These sites include: building an ADA-compliant observation platform/blind, trails, and a parking area for waterfowl hunting and observation at Three Rivers Wildlife Management Area; adding two ramps and a docking area on an existing structure to protect sensitive areas and adding another trail and canoe/kayak launch site at Deer Creek Marsh Wildlife Management Area; and developing an ADA accessible platform for boat users at Redfield Island Boat Launch along the Upper Salmon River.

Governor Cuomo has expanded recreational opportunities for residents and tourists, positioning New York State as a recreation destination, connecting communities to state lands, and improving the quality of life. 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.

Further information about Wildlife Management Area improvements can be obtained from the DEC Wildlife Office in Cortland at 607-753-3095 ext. 247; information regarding improvements to fishing access sites can be obtained from the DEC Fisheries office in Cortland, 607-753-309, ext. 213.

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