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For Release: Tuesday, May 19, 2015

First State Record Fish Established For 2015

Angler Catches State Record White Sucker

A new state record for white sucker was set by Joshua Wegner of Bath, NY who caught a five pound eight ounce fish from Cold Brook (Steuben County) on April 14, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. Wegner broke the previous state record (caught in 1994) by five ounces.

"Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, DEC works to promote and expand access for anglers," said Commissioner Martens. "I'd like to congratulate Mr. Wegner on this new record catch and encourage all New Yorkers to continue to utilize the great natural resources and fishing opportunities the state has to offer."

White suckers can be found in a variety of habitats throughout New York State with the exception of Long Island. Despite their widespread distribution, they're not often targeted by anglers. White suckers are bottom dwellers, primarily feeding on insects, snails and clams. This time of year, they move up shallow, swift moving streams to spawn. White suckers often fall prey to eagles and osprey, as well as larger predatory fish.

Mr. Wegner submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.

Complete details of the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable entry form, can be found on the DEC website, as well as in DEC's current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program contact (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov.

More information on New York State Freshwater Fishing Records is available on DEC's website. A high-resolution photograph of this new record catch is available at https://flic.kr/p/taLVa4.

New York Fish and Wildlife App
Mr. Wegner's newly listed record is posted on the New York Fish & Wildlife App, a free mobile app that is part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. The mobile app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York State. The app is now available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.

NY's Open for Fishing and Hunting
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, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.

Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Budget adds $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding which included repaving and painting at Caledonia Hatchery, and the acquisition of 16 new large stocking trucks and associated fish transport equipment. Other projects slated for completion this year are replacement of fish rearing raceways (Chateaugay and Caledonia), installation of new water treatment and heating equipment (Chautauqua and Oneida), and replacement of the roof at Salmon River Hatchery. Future hatchery projects under consideration include pond and raceway renovations at South Otselic, Catskill and Randolph hatcheries.

Over the past five years, more than $6 million has been invested in developing new and renovating existing boat launches. These projects include new boat launch facilities on Cuba Lake (Allegany County), Round Lake (Saratoga County) and Point Peninsula Isthmus and Three Mile Bay on Lake Ontario (Jefferson County). Boat launch renovations have been completed on Second Pond (Lower Saranac Lake) in Franklin County, Great Sacandaga Lake in Saratoga County, Lake Champlain (Peru Docks) in Clinton County and Schroon Lake (Horicon) in Warren County. By the beginning of the 2015 boating season reconstruction of boat launches on Upper Saranac Lake (Franklin County) and Forge Pond - Peconic River (Suffolk County) will have been completed. A new boat launch at Lake George Beach on Lake George will also be completed for boaters to enjoy.

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