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For Release: Tuesday, April 8, 2014

DEC to Stock Albany's Rensselaer Lake for Free Fishing Event

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) will host a free fishing day and stock trout in Rensselaer Lake at Albany's Six Mile Waterworks on Monday, April 14 at 9:30 a.m. as part of Governor Cuomo's New York Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly announced today.

"With the exceptionally long winter we all experienced, people are especially eager to get outdoors this spring," Kelly said. "Thankfully, we have just the cure for cabin fever; a day of fishing at Rensselaer Lake. Watching the fish being released into their new home has always been very popular with clinic attendees."

Six Mile Waterworks is home to Rensselaer Lake, which contains a variety of freshwater fish species including largemouth bass, sunfish, yellow perch, chain pickerel, brown bullhead and most recently, rainbow trout. DEC will stock the lake with approximately 1,600 catchable-size rainbow trout for the event.

After the stocking, participants will have the opportunity to take to the water or spend some time with knowledgeable DEC Fisheries staff to learn about fish identification, angling equipment and techniques, fisheries management and angling ethics. Participants may borrow fishing equipment and bait if needed. Supplies are limited, so people are encouraged to bring their own fishing equipment if they have it. In addition, LL Bean will be on hand demonstrating fly casting techniques.

In addition to Monday's event, DEC staff will be on hand at Six Mile Waterworks the remainder of the week (Tuesday-Friday, April 15-18) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to provide angling assistance. This event coincides with spring recess for many Capital District schools, making it the ideal opportunity for families to spend time together and enjoy the outdoors. Large groups that plan on attending are encouraged to call (518) 402-8891 to ensure adequate staff is present to assist.

Six Mile Waterworks will provide good trout fishing opportunities throughout the spring, especially as the water warms up. Early in the season trout are more apt to bite on artificial lures, such as spinners and spoons, which seem to be most effective. Sunfish will begin to move into shallow water to begin spawning in the later spring months. A simple bobber and worm rig is always a great option.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing & Hunting supports expanding fishing opportunities in urban areas as part of the I FISH NY program to increase fishing participation in New York State.

This event is designated as a free sportfishing event where a fishing license is not required during the hours of the program (9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.). Free sportfishing events are fishing clinics where participants can fish for free and no freshwater fishing license or enrollment in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry is required. Ordinarily, persons over the age of 16 are 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.

Sporting licenses can be purchased on-line, at town clerk offices, and DEC headquarters at 625 Broadway in Albany, as well as at many sporting goods stores. Free sportfishing clinics are held throughout the state. For information on conducting a clinic or for a list of current clinics scheduled, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/89811.html.

Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This initiative includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State.

In support of this initiative, this year's budget includes $6 million in NY Works funding to support creating 50 new land and water access projects to 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 largely 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, the 2014-15 budget includes $4 million to repair the state's fish hatcheries; and renews and allows expanded use of crossbows for hunting in New York State.

This year's budget also reduces short-term fishing licenses fees; increases the number of authorized statewide free fishing days to eight from two; authorizes DEC to offer 10 days of promotional prices for hunting, fishing and trapping licenses; and authorizes free Adventure Plates for new lifetime license holders, discounted Adventure Plates for existing lifetime license holders and regular fee Adventure Plates for annual license holders.

DEC operates 12 fish hatcheries in New York and plans to stock more than 2.3 million catchable-size brook, brown and rainbow trout in over 309 lakes and ponds and roughly 2,900 miles of streams across the state in 2014.

Library Fishing Rod Program
Albany residents can also participate in a program through the Albany Public Library that provides fishing rods for loan. The main branch at 161 Washington Avenue has a limited number of fishing rods that are available to library card holders. In addition, the Middleburgh, Scotia and Rensselaerville public libraries now participate in the rod lending program for library members.

Six Mile Waterworks is located off of Fuller Road between Washington and Central avenues. For more information about the Six Mile Waterworks event, contact DEC's Bureau of Fisheries at (518) 402-8891.

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