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For Release: Wednesday, March 27, 2013

DEC Kicks Off Fishing Season with Free Sportfishing Clinic

A Free Sport Fishing Clinic will be held at the City of Albany's Six Mile Waterworks on Monday, April 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. This event is part of DEC's I FISH NY program and is being held during spring recess for many Capital Region schools, making it an ideal family-friendly activity.

"Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, these clinics allow more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time," said Commissioner Martens. "The Capital Region offers a vast amount of outdoor recreation activities. Teaching area residents about these opportunities and providing instruction on how to enjoy them will help foster an appreciation for New York's natural resources. DEC's I FISH NY program accomplishes just that by introducing people to the sport of fishing and preparing them with the knowledge they need to go out and do it on their own."

A freshwater fishing license is not required to participate in this event. Ordinarily, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a fishing license when fishing or assisting another person to fish. Participants should note that all applicable fishing laws and regulations are still in effect during the event.

To further encourage fishing in New York State, Governor Cuomo signed legislation last year expanding 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. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer.

Six Mile Waterworks is home to Rensselaer Lake, which contains a wide variety of freshwater fish species including largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead and most recently, rainbow trout. For the sixth year, DEC will stock the lake with approximately 2,000 catchable size rainbow trout just prior to the free sport fishing clinic. The public is invited to watch the stocking around 9:30 a.m. Expanded fishing opportunities in urban areas is just one of the I FISH NY program's objectives to increase fishing participation in
New York State.

Six Mile Waterworks will provide good trout fishing opportunities throughout the spring, especially as the water warms up. Early in the season trout are more apt to bite on artificial lures, such as spinners and spoons, which seem to be most effective. Sunfish will begin to move into shallow water to begin spawning in the later spring months. A simple bobber and worm rig is always a great option.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, stocking as much as 900,000 pounds of fish, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

DEC Fisheries staff will be available to offer advice and assistance in learning how to fish. Fishing rods, bait and other essential equipment will be available to borrow. Informational materials detailing local fishing resources, fish identification, and fishing basics will also be on hand. Fly casting demonstrations by L.L. Bean staff will take place throughout the event.

Larger groups such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts that are interested in receiving a more formal fishing education session during the week of April 1 at Six Mile Waterworks can contact (518) 402-8891. DEC Fisheries staff will teach fish identification, fishing basics, regulations, and knot tying.

Library Fishing Rod Program
Albany residents can also participate in a program through the Albany Public Library that provides fishing rods for loan. The main branch at 161 Washington Avenue has a limited number of fishing rods that are available to library card holders. Other participating libraries include: Cohoes, Middleburgh, Scotia, and Rensselaerville.

Six Mile Waterworks is located off of Fuller Road between Washington and Central avenues. For more information about the event, contact Joelle Ernst with DEC's Bureau of Fisheries at (518) 402-8891.

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