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For Release: Monday, February 13, 2017

Free Ice Fishing Clinic Set for Wednesday, Feb. 22 at Canadarago Lake

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) will co-host a free ice fishing clinic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at the public boat launch at Canadarago Lake just south of Richfield Springs on NYS Route 28, DEC Region 4 Director Keith Goertz announced today.

"This event is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about the unique sport of ice fishing and how to better enjoy New York's natural resources in the winter," Goertz said. "The free ice fishing clinic is non-competitive and geared toward anglers of any age, especially those new to the sport of ice fishing."

"Fishing is one of the many ways to enjoy our wonderful state parks year-round," said State Parks Central Regional Director Rob Hiltbrand. "Thanks to a great partnership with DEC, this event is the perfect opportunity for all ages to get outdoors and get hooked on the fun."

DEC will supply most of the bait and tackle but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. There will be a short lesson on the basics of ice fishing and filleting your catch at the boat ramp, where a warming tent and refreshments will be available. DEC and State Parks staff will be on hand throughout the day to assist participants on the ice.

Yellow perch and chain pickerel are the main target species for ice anglers in Canadarago Lake, while sunfish, black crappie, rock bass, black bass and walleye are also present in the lake.

For more information about the event, contact the DEC Region 4 Fisheries office at (607) 652-7366 or Rich Sheckells at Glimmerglass State Park at 607-547-8662. Pre-registration is appreciated. Participants can pre-register by calling Rich Sheckells at 607-547-8662.

While a DEC fishing license is not required for this event, all other statewide and special regulations for Otsego Lake remain in effect. Normally, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a fishing license to fish or assist with fishing in fresh waters of New York State.

In addition to this free fishing clinic, Governor Cuomo has designated February 18-19, 2017, as a free fishing weekend, during which the requirements for a fishing license will be suspended. Residents and visitors age 16 and older will be able to fish the fresh or marine waters of New York State without a license, providing a great opportunity for people to learn about this popular sport.

Anglers are reminded that four inches of ice is usually safe for accessing ice on foot. Double that thickness for traveling on white ice. Ice thickness can vary on ever body of water or even within the same body of water. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and houses where bubblers may be installed to reduce ice buildup. The presence of snowmobile tracks or footprints on the ice should not be taken as evidence of safe ice conditions. Individuals are strongly encouraged to check ice conditions and avoid situations that appear to present even a remote risk. Testing the thickness if ice can easily be done with an auger or ice spud at various spots.

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