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For Release: Thursday, October 17, 2013

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. 19 at Hempstead Lake State Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. Under the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, 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).

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 and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.

No fishing license is required for this event. Admission is $6 for anyone over the age of 12. Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and offers 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, OPRHP as well as other fishing and environmental organizations.

Children's activities will also begin at 10 a.m. and 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 I FISH NY, OPRHP, The Fisherman Magazine, and Shakespeare fishing tackle.

Prior to the festival, OPRHP will stock South and MacDonald Ponds in Hempstead Lake State Park with hundreds of brook and rainbow trout. DEC also stocks several water bodies in Nassau and Suffolk counties including: Upper Twin Pond, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Reservoir, and 12 other Suffolk county lakes with brown trout. These stockings will occur by Oct. 19, and will provide excellent prospects for fall fishing. A second DEC stocking will occur by Nov. 9.

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.

For more information about the event or weather concerns, 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 www.ifishnewyork.org.

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

What: Fall Fishing and Children's Festival
Where: MacDonald and South Ponds at Hempstead Lake State Park
When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Who: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
Details: Come out and enjoy a day of fishing with the entire family! Headlining the event is a children's "Casting for Pumpkins" contest. In addition, over 1,000 trout will be stocked prior to the event.
Cost: $6 for those 12 and over
Sponsors: DEC's I FISH NY program & OPRHP
Contact: DEC's I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or email I FISH NY

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