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For Release: Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DEC Announces "State Of The Western Finger Lakes" Fisheries Meetings

Meetings to Cover Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Hemlock, Canadice and Conesus Lakes

As part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the public will have the opportunity to discuss the Western Finger Lakes fisheries at three upcoming public meetings in February and May, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today.

The February meetings will concentrate on the fisheries of Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua lakes, while May meeting will focus on the fisheries of Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus lakes.

"These public forums on the State of the Western Finger Lakes provide an opportunity for DEC Fisheries scientists to share their knowledge about the fishery resources," DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said. "Governor Cuomo supports these efforts to provide excellent opportunities for interested anglers to interact with the managers who study these fisheries. Our staff is committed to sound management of the Finger Lake's fisheries resources and strives to maintain high-quality angling opportunities and the associated economic benefits they support."

The Finger Lakes and their tributaries support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch, panfish and esocids. Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus lakes comprise more than 73,000 acres, and a 2007 statewide angler survey estimated more than 883,000 angler days spent on these Finger Lakes. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $12 million to the local New York economy.

Meeting dates and locations are:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014: 7:00 p.m. - 10 p.m. at Stage 14 in the Student Center at Finger Lakes Community College's main campus, 3325 Marvin Sands Drive, Canandaigua, (Ontario County). Marvin Sands Drive is located off Lakeshore Boulevard. Ample parking is available. For directions and a campus map, visit:

Thursday, February 27, 2014: 7:00 p.m. - 10 p.m. at the Watkins Glen Elementary School auditorium, 612 Decatur St., Watkins Glen, (Schuyler County).

Monday, May 19, 2014: 7:00 p.m. to 10 p.m. ELIM Bible Institute's Tab Chapel, 7245 College Street, Lima (Livingston County).

DEC fisheries biologists will provide updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, warmwater fish, fishing regulations, sea lamprey control and DEC's Angler Diary Program. There will be time allotted at the end of each scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.

In conjunction with these meetings, DEC will host an Angler Diary Program quality Control meeting prior to each meeting from 6 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. All current Angler Diary Keepers and anyone interested in joining the program are invited to attend.

Governor Cuomo's 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. Through these efforts, New York has become a premier destination for bass fishing tournaments at the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain and Oneida Lake.

In support of this initiative, Governor Cuomo this year has proposed the creation of 50 new land access projects, which will connect hunters, anglers, bird watchers and others who enjoy the outdoors to more than 380,000 acres of existing state and easement lands that have gone untapped until now. These 50 new access projects include building new boat launches, installing new hunting blinds and building new trails and parking areas. In addition, Governor Cuomo included $4 million for hatchery upgrades in this year's Executive Budget.

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