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For Release: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I FISH NY Sponsors Fall Family Fishing Festival at Hempstead Lake State Park

Free Fishing, Rods and Bait, Pony Rides, Magic Show and Contests Offered at Annual Long Island Event

The annual Fall Family Fishing Festival will be held on Saturday, October 18 at Hempstead Lake State Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. DEC's I FISH NY Program and Freshwater Fisheries Unit are sponsoring the event along with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks).

"The Fall Family Fishing Festival is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and learn something about the great sport of freshwater fishing," Scully said. "As part of Governor Cuomo's NY is Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative, the festival combines the opportunity to fish with a variety of children's activities to provide a rewarding family experience."

No fishing license is required for this event. Additionally, this year there will be no admission fee and parking is free. Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and offers fly-fishing instruction, casting practice, loaner rods, free bait, and fish cleaning services. Additionally, a display area will be set up by Trout Unlimited, DEC Environmental Education, State Parks as well as other fishing and environmental organizations.

Children's activities will also begin at 10 a.m. and will include pumpkin decorating, a magic show, pony rides and face painting. A casting contest where participants can catch a pumpkin or "hook" a prize will be held by the Knights of Columbus of Seaford. Casting contest prizes are provided by I FISH NY, State Parks, The Fisherman Magazine and Dick's Sporting Goods.

Prior to the festival, State Parks will stock South and McDonald Ponds in Hempstead Lake State Park with hundreds of brook and rainbow trout. DEC also stocks several water bodies in Nassau and Suffolk counties including: Upper Twin Pond, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Reservoir and 12 other Suffolk County lakes with brown trout. These stockings will occur by October 17 and will provide excellent prospects for fall fishing. A second DEC stocking will occur by November 7.

In support of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting 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.

For more information about the festival or weather concerns, please call DEC's I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or Hempstead Lake State Park at (516) 766-1029 for event status. There is no rain date for this event.

For more information about the fall trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280. Visit DEC's website for information on freshwater fishing on Long Island and general fishing guidance.

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What: 2014 Fall Family Fishing Festival
Where: McDonald and South Ponds
Hempstead Lake State Park
West Hempstead, NY 11552
When: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Time: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Who: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, State Parks
Details: Come out and enjoy a day of fishing with the entire family! Headlining the event is a
children's "Casting for Pumpkins" contest. In addition, over 1,000 trout will be stocked prior to the event.
Cost: None - Free Event Admission and Free Parking
Sponsors: DEC's I FISH NY program & State Parks
Contact: DEC's I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or email
Directions: Take exit 18 off Southern State Parkway. Follow the drive into the Park. Make your second right into the ticket booths. Make an immediate left after the booths, for Field #3. Follow to the end of the parking lot. Walk along the path to McDonald and South Ponds.