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For Release: Friday, January 17, 2014

Free Fishing Day, Ice Fishing Clinic Set for Hartwick

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will sponsor a free fishing day and co-sponsor an ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 25, at the Hartwick Rod & Gun Club Pond, Otsego County, DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

As part of the NY is Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative, Governor Cuomo signed legislation in 2012 to expand the opportunity for free fishing clinics. The law, allows 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.

'This clinic is a great opportunity for families to learn more about the great sport of ice fishing and will provide another opportunity for them to enjoy New York's natural resources," Kelly said. "This event is geared toward kids and individuals who are new to ice fishing and will encourage them to become year-round anglers."

The ice fishing clinic is being co-sponsored by the Otsego County Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs. The Rod & Gun club is located one-half mile south of Main Street in the town of Hartwick right off State Highway 205.

Anglers can expect to catch bluegills, crappie and bass at the event. A warming area, food, bait and some tackle will be provided.

Everyone is 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 helping another person to fish. Spikes, minnows, loaner jigging 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.

For more information about the event contact event coordinator Chris VanMaaren at 607-652-7366.

New York's sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.

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

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