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For Release: Thursday, February 28, 2013

DEC Announces State of Lake Ontario Meetings

Biologists to Update Status of Lakes Fisheries

The annual State of Lake Ontario public meetings will be held in Oswego, Monroe and Niagara counties during March, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

"In recent years, Lake Ontario anglers have experienced outstanding fishing on Lake Ontario and its tributaries, based on DEC's science-based management of the fisheries," said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. "DEC's goal is to maintain Lake Ontario's high-quality angling opportunities and associated economic benefits. The State of Lake Ontario meetings provide an excellent opportunity for individuals interested in the lake to interact with the scientists who study its fisheries."

Lake Ontario and its embayments and tributaries support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch and panfish. New York's Lake Ontario waters comprise more than 2.7 million acres. A 2007 statewide angler survey estimated more than 2.6 million angler days were spent on Lake Ontario and major tributaries. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $112 million to the local New York economy.

The meeting dates are as follows:

Wednesday, March 6, 2013: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the DEC Training Academy, 24 County Route 2A, Pulaski (the former Portly Angler Motel), Oswego County. The meeting is co-hosted by the Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013: 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. at the Cornell Cooperative Extension Building, 4487 Lake Avenue, Lockport, Niagara County. The meeting is co-hosted by Niagara County Cooperative Extension and the Niagara County Sportfishery Development Board.

DEC, United States Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, stocking programs, and fisheries management plans. Ample time will be provided at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters. Information summaries for a host of Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs will be posted on DEC's website prior to the public meetings. Previous annual reports can also be found at this site.

As part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, this year, Governor Cuomo's Executive Budget proposes that hunting and fishing licenses be simplified and fees be reduced. For more information, go to Governor's Press webpage (leaving DEC's website). For further information contact Steven Lapan, New York Great Lakes Section Leader at Cape Vincent Fisheries Research Station, (315) 654-2147.

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