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For Release: Monday, April 2, 2012

DEC to Host Free Albany Fishing Event

In conjunction with spring break for many Capital Region schools, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) I FISH NY program will conduct a free youth fishing event at the city of Albany's Six Mile Waterworks on April 9 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

"A key barrier to learning how to fish is a lack of fishing opportunities close to home," DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly said. "This event will provide Albany area residents with an opportunity to learn more about the great fishing here in the Capital Region - which we hope will hook them on a lasting appreciation for the sport."

"The I Fish NY program is an excellent way to involve the City's youth in different extracurricular activities," said Mayor Gerald D. Jennings. "This event is a great opportunity for young citizens of Albany who are interested in fishing and wildlife to become more versed in the sport and encourage outdoor activity."

Everyone is invited to participate in this event, whether they have a fishing license or not. Ordinarily, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a license when fishing or helping another person to fish. Participants should note that all applicable fishing laws and regulations are still in effect during the event.

To further encourage fishing in New York State, in early March Governor Cuomo proposed legislation to expand the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. New York's sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.

Six Mile Waterworks is home to Rensselaer Lake, which contains a variety of freshwater fish species including largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead and most recently, rainbow trout. For the fifth year, DEC will be stocking the lake with approximately 2,000 catchable size rainbow trout prior to the free fishing event. The public is invited to watch the stocking around 9:30 a.m.

Expanding fishing opportunities in urban areas is just one of the I FISH NY program's objectives to increase fishing participation in New York State. DEC Fisheries staff will be on hand to offer advice and assist anglers in learning how to fish. Loaner fishing rods, bait, bobbers and hooks will be available. Supplies are limited, so people are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment if they have it.

Informational materials will also be available detailing local fishing resources, fishing basics and fish identification. In addition, L.L. Bean staff will be on hand to demonstrate fly casting techniques. Groups of 15 or more should contact DEC at (518) 402-8891 so staff can plan accordingly.

Library Fishing Rod Program

Albany residents can also participate in a program through the Albany Public Library that provides fishing rods for loan. The main branch at 161 Washington Avenue has a limited number of fishing rods that are available to library card holders. In addition, the Middleburgh, Scotia and Rensselaerville public libraries now participate in the rod lending program for library members.

Six Mile Waterworks is off of Fuller Road between Washington and Central avenues. For more information about the event, contact Joelle Ernst with DEC's Bureau of Fisheries at (518) 402-8891.

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