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For Release: Thursday, June 26, 2014

DEC and State Parks Offer Free Fishing Clinic

Fun for the Whole Family at Hempstead Lake State Park

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) I FISH NY program, in cooperation with New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation, will offer a free freshwater fishing clinic on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at Hempstead Lake State Park, McDonald Pond from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"Under Governor Cuomo's NY is Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the popularity of free freshwater fishing clinics continue to grow throughout Long Island," DEC Regional Director Peter A. Scully said. "Free clinics of this nature are opportunities where families can truly rediscover what their local area has to offer and potentially develop freshwater fishing into a hobby that provides a lifetime of fun and relaxation."

Free loaner fishing rods supplied by I FISH NY will be available for use at the clinic. Bait will be supplied by New York State Parks. The event begins with basic instruction on freshwater fish species, fishing regulations and casting techniques. There will be an $8 parking fee in effect, free with the Empire Passport.

Space is limited; please call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 to pre-register. For more information on the I FISH NY program, please visit DEC's I FISH NY Long Island webpage. For information about freshwater fishing on Long Island, please call the Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280 or visit DEC's Long Island/NYC Fishing webpage.

This is a Free Fishing Clinic so no fishing license is needed for this event. Click the link for more information about Free Fishing Clinics.

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.

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