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For Release: Wednesday, February 29, 2012

DEC and State Parks Sponsor Spring Family Festival at Belmont Lake

Festival Marks Start of DEC's Spring Trout Stocking Program on Long Island

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), will hold its annual Spring Family Fishing Festival on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at Belmont Lake State Park, DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. Additional sponsors include Dick's Sporting Goods, The Natural Heritage Trust, The Fisherman Magazine and radio stations 106.1WBLI, 102.3WBAB.

"Freshwater fishing is a fun and rewarding recreational activity that the whole family can enjoy, especially on Long Island," said Scully. "The spring fishing festival at Belmont Lake State Park is an excellent way to kick off the fishing season and introduce the whole family to the sport. At this festival you can learn about freshwater fishing opportunities on Long Island, try your hand at fishing for trout (no license needed on that day), learn about local fishing clubs, and the kids can participate in the casting contest and other fun activities."

Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and are provided free of charge. Activities will include open fishing, fishing instruction, fly casting demonstrations and fish cleaning services. Additionally, a display area will be set up by the DEC and local fishing clubs. Participants are urged to try their hands at fly casting, as demonstrations will be on-going. Loaner rods and free bait will be available to participants throughout the day. Because the supply of loaner rods is finite, participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing tackle if they have it.

Children's activities also begin at 10 a.m. and will include an inflatable slide (weather dependent), the "Spring Fling" casting contest, as well as hands-on educational displays by the DEC's Education Unit. Children participating in the casting contest will have a chance to win some great prizes, which will be supplied by DEC's I FISH NY Program, OPRHP, The Natural Heritage Trust and Dick's Sporting Goods.

The freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers age 16 and older has been suspended for this event. A vehicle use fee of $8 will be in effect. Parking is free for Empire Pass holders.

The festival highlights DEC's spring trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Prior to the festival, Belmont Lake will be stocked with close to 4,000 brown, brook and rainbow trout by DEC and OPRHP. Upper Twin Pond in Wantagh, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Creek and Reservoir, as well as 17 other Long Island lakes will also be stocked with trout by DEC, providing excellent prospects for spring fishing in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

In the event of inclement weather, call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or Belmont Lake State Park at (631) 667-5055. There is no rain date for this event.
For more information about the festival, please call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or visit our website at www.ifishnewyork.org. For information about freshwater fishing on Long Island or the spring trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, please call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280, e-mail us at fwfish1@dec.ny.gov or visit us online at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7951.html.

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What: Spring Family Fishing Festival
Where: Belmont Lake State Park
When: Saturday April 14, 2012
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Who: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP)
Details: Enjoy a day of fishing with the whole family! Event activities include fishing instruction, fish cleaning services, environmental exhibits, an inflatable slide (weather dependent), temporary tattoos, and the "Spring Fling" children's casting contest. Loaner rods and free bait will be available to participants throughout the day. Prior to the event, Belmont Lake will be stocked with close to 4,000 trout by DEC and OPRHP. The freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers age 16 and older has been suspended for this event.
Cost: $8 parking fee; free with Empire Pass
Sponsors: DEC's I FISH NY Program, OPRHP, Dick's Sporting Goods, The Natural Heritage Trust, The Fisherman Magazine, 102.3WBAB, and 106.1WBLI
Contact: I FISH NY staff at (631) 444-0283 or IfishNY@dec.ny.gov