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For Release: Thursday, May 1, 2014

DEC Announces Final "State of The Western Finger Lakes" Fisheries Meeting on May 19

New Meeting Date to Discuss 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 the upcoming public meeting on Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock and Conesus lakes, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The meeting will take place on Monday, May 19, 2014 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at ELIM Bible Institute's Tab Chapel, 7245 College Street, in Lima, Livingston County.

"This public forum 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."

DEC fisheries biologists will provide updates on the status of both cold and warm water fisheries. In conjunction with the meeting, DEC will host a Volunteer Angler Diary Program 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. There will be time allotted at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.

Two previous public meetings were held in February to discuss Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua Lakes fisheries. 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. A 2007 statewide angler survey estimated more than 883,000 angler days were spent on these Finger Lakes. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $12 million to the local New York economy.

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.

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