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For Release: Thursday, May 30, 2013

5th Annual Free Sportfishing Clinic Set for Saturday, June 1 in Schenectady

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will be conducting a free sportfishing clinic on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Iroquois Lake in Schenectady's Central Park as part of the I FISH NY program.

"Under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, these clinics allow more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "One of the main objectives of the I FISH NY program is to increase angling participation. Providing free fishing events in urban areas is a great way to introduce New Yorkers to the sport of fishing. Plentiful shoreline, a wheelchair accessible platform and lots of fish makes Central Park an ideal setting for a fishing clinic."

All are invited to take part in this event where no fishing license is required. Ordinarily, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a license when fishing or assisting another person to fish. Worms, loaner fishing rods and instruction will be available for all participants. Supplies are limited, so people are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have it. This event is accessible and available to people of all abilities.

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. In addition to the regional free fishing clinics, the weekend of June 29 and 30 is designated as a Free Fishing weekend, where anyone can fish in fresh water throughout the state without a license, and without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry if fishing in marine waters.

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.

For more information about the event, contact event organizer Joelle Ernst at 518-402-8891. For a list of free fishing clinics, please visit DEC's website. Be sure to check the website periodically to see if additional events have been added.

While a DEC fishing license is not required for either the free fishing weekend or free sportfishing clinics, DEC's other fishing rules and regulations remain in effect. To learn more about New York's freshwater fishing regulations and information on how and where to obtain a fishing license, visit DEC's website.

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