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For Release: Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I FISH NY Sponsors Fall Fishing and Children's Festival at Hempstead Lake State Park

Free Fishing, Rods and Bait, Pony Rides, Magic Show and Contests All Offered at Annual Long Island Event

The annual Fall Fishing and Children's Festival will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13 at Hempstead Lake State Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. DEC's I FISH NY Program and Freshwater Fisheries Unit is sponsoring the event, along with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP).

"The Fall Fishing and Children's Festival is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and learn valuable information about the great sport of freshwater fishing," Scully said. "The festival combines the opportunity to fish with a variety of children's activities to provide a rewarding family experience."

No fishing license is required for this event. Admission is $6 for anyone over the age of 12. Festival activities include fly-fishing instruction, casting practice, loaner rods, free bait and fish cleaning services. Additionally, a display area will be set up by Trout Unlimited, DEC Environmental Education, New York State Parks as well as other fishing and environmental organizations.

Children's activities will include pumpkin decorating, a magic show, pony rides and face painting. A casting contest where participants can catch a pumpkin or "hook" a prize will be held by the Knights of Columbus of Seaford. Casting contest prizes are provided by The Fisherman Magazine and Shakespeare.

Prior to the festival, South and MacDonald Ponds in Hempstead Lake State Park will be stocked by Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and New York State Parks. DEC also stocks several water bodies in Nassau and Suffolk counties with brown trout including: Upper Twin Pond, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Reservoir and Massapequa Creek and 12 other Suffolk County lakes. These stockings will occur by October 13 and will provide excellent prospects for fall fishing. A second DEC stocking will occur by November 3.

For more information about the event or weather concerns, please call DEC's I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or Hempstead Lake State Park (516) 766-1029 for event status. There is no rain date for this event. You can also find information about the festival at the I FISH NY website (link on the right column).

For more information about the fall trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk counties, call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280. General information on freshwater fishing on Long Island can be found at the link on the right column.