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For Release: Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Free Local Fishing Clinics to be Held in WNY

All ages invited to learn fishing tips and techniques

Several free fishing clinics will be held in Western New York throughout late May and June, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. These family-friendly events offer free instruction on basic fish identification, aquatic ecology, fishing equipment and techniques to anglers of all ages.

"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 DEC Regional Director Abby Snyder. "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 great outdoor resources. DEC's I FISH NY program helps to introduce people to the sport of fishing and prepares 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 the upcoming events. 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. In addition, DEC has designated the last full weekend in June (June 29-30) as a free fishing weekend, enabling all residents and visitors to fish New York State's waters without a freshwater fishing license.

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

Free Learn to Catch a Fish Family Picnic
Letchworth State Park Trout Pond - near Trailside Lodge
Saturday, May 25, 2013
11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Information: Letchworth State Park (585) 493-3600

Tifft Nature Preserve Family Fishing Day Clinic
Tifft Nature Preserve - Buffalo, NY
Saturday, June 8, 2013
9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Registration: Michael Todd (716) 851-7010

DEC/Erie Federation Youth Fishing Clinic
Chestnut Ridge Park - Orchard Park, NY
Saturday, June 22, 2013
9:30 a.m. to 1:00 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.

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.

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. More information about fishing in New York State is available on DEC's website.

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