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For Release: Tuesday, June 3, 2014

DEC Offers Free Surfcasting Clinic in Smith Point, Fire Island National Seashore

A free surfcasting clinic will be held on June 11 at Smith Point Wilderness Center, Fire Island National Seashore from 6 - 8 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. DEC's I FISH NY program is offering the event in cooperation with the US National Park Service.

"Long Island shores offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities for the entire family," DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. "Surfcasting can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience that can create lifelong memories. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the fantastic natural resources Long Island has to offer."

Free loaner fishing rods and tackle, supplied by I FISH NY, will be available for use at the clinic. The event will begin with basic fishing instruction. This event is geared toward ages ten and up. No fishing license is needed for this event.

Space is limited; please call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 to pre-register. For information about freshwater fishing on Long Island, please call the Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280 or go to DEC's Learn to Fish page.

The 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 not reached their full potential. 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.

The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 allowing all people the opportunity to sample the incredible fishing New York State has to offer. New York State designates the last full weekend in June as Free Fishing Days. During those two days, anyone can fish New York State waters, and no fishing license is required. Since no license is required, it is the perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing. In 2014, New York State's Free Fishing Days are Saturday and Sunday, June 28 & 29. Additional statewide free fishing dates will be announced this summer.

What: Surfcasting Clinic
Where: Smith Point, Fire Island National Seashore Wilderness Center
When: Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Time: 6 - 8 p.m.
Who: I FISH NY, NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, US National Park Service Fire Island National Seashore
Details: This event is geared toward beginner anglers and is appropriate for ages ten and up. The event will begin with basic instruction on local saltwater fish species, fishing regulations, and surfcasting techniques. Loaner rods and tackle will be available to participants for open fishing from the shoreline at Smith Point Beach. Pre-registration is required.
Sponsors: I FISH NY
Contact: I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283

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