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For Release: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Experience Fishing Fun at South Otselics Fishing Heritage Day

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Trout Unlimited's Chenango Valley Chapter will conduct a free Family Fishing Clinic on Saturday, May 19, from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm at the South Otselic Fish Hatchery, located on County Route 26 in Chenango County during the 4th annual South Otselic Fishing Heritage Days. No fishing license is required during the event. Spin casting rods and bait will be provided. Children under age 16 must be supervised.

"Free fishing clinics are an excellent opportunity for those young and old to try angling for the first time," DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch said. "The clinics will offer guidance so those with no fishing experience can learn about the sport."

South Otselic has a rich fishing heritage with the B.F. Gladding Company, which has been making fishing line since 1816. DEC's South Otselic Fish Hatchery, which has been operating for 72 years, will conduct the clinic. The hatchery is located on County Route 26, in Chenango County. There will be two 15-minute instructional sessions, one in the morning at 9:00 a.m and one in the afternoon at 12:30 p.m. Both sessions will be followed by open fishing during the remainder of the clinic.

There will also be open instructional stations set up in the Hatchery presented by Trout Unlimited members. These stations will consist of an aquatic insect identification and water quality program, fly tying and fly casting. The stations will familiarize anglers of all ages and skill with fishing techniques, tackle and aquatic insects.

For the open fishing portion of the event there will be a stocked trout pond for kids, and a section of the Otselic River, which is also stocked, will be available for adult fishing. This section of stream is from the County Route 13 Bridge in South Otselic, downstream to the DEC parking area just below the hatchery. No fishing license is required to fish in the above mentioned areas during the event.

Drawings for fishing tackle and equipment will be held for students participating in the fishing clinics.

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.

There will also be tours of the South Otselic Fish Hatchery during the day along with numerous community events. Parking for all events is available at the hatchery across from the town park. Admission to all activities is free. For information view www.ovfish.org, or contact Calvin Hite at (315) 653-7490.

DEC sponsors several free fishing clinics throughout the state where possession of a fishing license is not required.

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