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For Release: Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Second State Record Fish Established For 2014

Angler Catches State Record Freshwater Drum on Lake Ontario

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today that James VanArsdall of West Henrietta caught a record breaking freshwater drum from Irondequoit Bay (Lake Ontario) in Monroe County. Caught on June 14, 2014, the fish measured 33.5 inches and weighed 26 pounds 9 ounces and breaks the previous state record by more than 2 pounds.

"This latest state record is another great example of how New York continues to provide excellent fishing opportunities and they continue to grow under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative," said Commissioner Martens. "From the Great Lakes to Long Island and everything in between, the possibilities are endless for eager anglers."

Freshwater drum are also referred to as "sheepshead" and primarily dwell in large rivers and lakes. Their pronounced blunt head allow them to be easily identified. With numerous small round teeth made for crushing, drum feed mostly on freshwater snails, clams and crayfish. For more information on this unique fish species visit DEC's website.

Mr. VanArsdall submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC's Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish. Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement. The three categories that make up the program are: Catch & Release, Annual Award and State Record.

Mr. VanArsdall's catch is the second newly listed record on the New York Fish & Wildlife App, a free mobile app recently announced under Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. On May 14, 2014, Eric Lester established a new inland state record when he caught a 60 pound striped bass in the Hudson River. The mobile app provides up-to-date information on fishing, hunting, wildlife watching and other outdoor adventure opportunities in New York State.

DEC developed the app in partnership with Parks By Nature Network® at no cost to the state. The app is now available for free download in the iTunes App Store and the Android Market for use on iPhone and Android devices.

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.

A photo of the record fish can be found on the New York State Freshwater Fishing Records page of DEC's website. For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC's website. Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC's current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide. For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov.

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