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For Release: Thursday, May 24, 2012

Free Sport Fishing Clinic Designated for June 2

A Free Sport Fishing Clinic will be held in the Sauquoit Creek Basin on June 2, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional 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 event will run from 9:30 am to 2 pm. The fishing clinic takes place at the Washington Mills Athletic Park, at the intersection of Oneida Street and Roberts Road, in the Town of New Hartford, Oneida County, rain or shine. Volunteers from many sponsoring groups will help participants fish, as well as run casting for accuracy and distance contests, teach knot tying and demonstrate how to bait the hook. There will be fishing poles and bait for all attendees to use.

This event is made possible through help from Mohawk Valley Trout Unlimited Chapter, Fly Fishers Anglers Association, Morgan's Bait, Sauquoit Fish and Game Club, Utica Boat, Wyandotts Fish and Game Club, NYS Outdoorsman's Hall of Fame, 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.

A fishing license is not required for free fishing events. Normally, a valid New York State fishing license is required for everyone 16 years old and older to fish in New York State waters. In addition, each year DEC designates the last weekend of June as "Free Fishing Weekend." For 2012, New York's Free Fishing days are Saturday and Sunday, June 23 and 24. During those two days, anyone can fish New York State waters and no fishing license is required. The free fishing days started in 1991 to allow people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer. It is the perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing since no license is required.

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.

More information about fishing clinics and fishing in New York State is available on DEC's web site.

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