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For Release: Friday, May 29, 2015

Free Sport Fishing Clinic Designated For June 6

All Ages Invited To Learn Fishing Tips and Techniques

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a free fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 6 at the Washington Mills Athletic Park in the Sauquoit Creek Basin, Town of New Hartford, Oneida County, DEC Region 6 Director Judy Drabicki announced today.

"New York State offers some of the best fishing opportunities in the country and free fishing clinics are a wonderful way for people to learn about this popular sport and enjoy a day in the great outdoors," Drabicki said.

The fishing clinic takes place rain or shine. Volunteers from many sponsoring groups will help participants fish, run casting for accuracy and distance contests, and teach knot tying and how to bait the hook. Fishing poles and bait is available for all attendees to use.

This event is made possible through help from the Mohawk Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Morgan's Bait, Sauquoit Fish and Game Club, Gander Mountain and the Town of New Hartford. Anyone with questions about the event, please call either Dave Erway in the Utica fisheries office at 315-793-2556 or Bill Girvan at 315-736-5738.

Free sport fishing 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 sport fishing clinics are held throughout the state. For information on conducting a clinic or for a list of current clinics scheduled, visit DEC's website at www.dec.ny.gov.

A valid New York State fishing license is required for everyone 16 years old and older to fish in New York State waters, except during designated free clinics.

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 Driver's License. Additional information can be found at: License Center website: http://licensecenter.ny.gov/sporting-and-recreational-licenses.

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 adds 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.

More information about fishing clinics and fishing in New York State is available on DEC's web site at http://www.dec.ny.gov.

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