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For Release: Friday, May 25, 2012

DEC Announces Free Local Fishing Clinics in WNY

All Ages Invited to Learn Fishing Tips and Techniques

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is pleased to announce that free fishing clinics will be held in Western New York during late May and June. These family-friendly events will offer free instruction on basic fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques to anglers of all ages.

In addition, DEC has designated the last full weekend in June (June 23-24) as a free fishing weekend, enabling all residents and visitors to fish New York State's public waters without a freshwater fishing license. Although a fishing license is not required for the upcoming free clinics or free fishing weekend, DEC's other fishing rules and regulations will remain in effect.

"The upcoming free fishing weekend and free fishing clinics provide a great opportunity for anglers of all ages to learn more about fishing while enjoying some of our area's tremendous outdoor resources," Regional Director Abby Snyder said.

Upcoming free fishing clinics in the Western New York area include:

Free Learn to Fish Family Picnic
Letchworth State Park Trout Pond - near Trailside Lodge
Saturday, May 26, 2012
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Information: Letchworth State Park (585) 493-3600

Tifft Nature Preserve Family Fishing Day
Tifft Nature Preserve - Buffalo, NY
Saturday, June 9, 2012
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration: Michael Todd (716) 851-7010

DEC/Erie Federation Youth Fishing Clinic
Chestnut Ridge Park - Orchard Park, NY
Saturday, June 23, 2012
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Registration: East Aurora Boys and Girls Club
(716) 652-4180

Pre-registration for free fishing clinics is preferred for events at Tifft Nature Preserve and Chestnut Ridge Park. Adult supervision is required for all participating children. Participants are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment, but fishing equipment will also be available to borrow. A freshwater fishing license is not required for these events. For more information please contact Michael Todd of DEC's Fisheries Division at (716) 851-7010.

More information about fishing in New York State, as well as weekly updated fishing hotlines for popular fishing areas in Western New York, are available on DEC's website.

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.

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