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For Release: Friday, February 17, 2017

EVENT IS CANCELLED Free Ice Fishing Clinic Set for Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Casterline Pond

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a free ice fishing clinic from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Casterline Pond in Cortland County, DEC Regional Director Matthew Marko announced today.

"With school vacation this coming week, it will be a good time for a family outing to learn more about the sport of ice fishing and how to better enjoy New York's natural resources in the winter," Marko said. "The free ice fishing clinic is non-competitive and geared toward anglers of any age, especially those new to ice fishing."

The event will be held at the Casterline Pond fishing access parking area on Route 11, just north of Homer. DEC will supply bait, tackle, and the drilling of holes. There will be a short lesson on the basics of ice fishing and DEC staff will be on hand throughout the event to assist participants on the ice. Casterline Pond has brown and rainbow trout, along with bluegill and pumpkinseed sunfish.

While a DEC fishing license is not required for this event, all other statewide and special regulations remain in effect. Normally, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a fishing license to fish or assist with fishing in fresh waters of New York State. Children under age 16 must be supervised.

In addition to this free fishing clinic, Governor Cuomo has designated this weekend, February 18-19, 2017, as a free fishing weekend, during which the requirements for a fishing license will be suspended.

Anglers are reminded that four inches of ice is usually safe for accessing ice on foot. Double that thickness for traveling on white ice. Ice thickness can vary on ever body of water or even within the same body of water. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness of ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

For ice fishing information, please view the Introduction to Ice Fishing chapter of the I FISH NY Beginners Guide to Freshwater Fishing on DEC's website.

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