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For Release: Thursday, January 4, 2018

DEC and City of Troy to Host Free Ice Fishing Clinic at Tomhannock Reservoir

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the city of Troy will co-host a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, at the Tomhannock Reservoir angler parking lot at the corner of NYS Route 7 and Lake Shore Road in the town of Pittstown, 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."

DEC will supply the bait and tackle but experienced anglers are encouraged to bring their own fishing gear. A warming hut will be on site and DEC will provide ice fishing instruction and tips. Anglers will have a chance to catch panfish, yellow perch, pickerel and walleye at the reservoir. For more information about the event, contact the DEC Region 4 Fisheries office at (607) 652-7366.

While neither a DEC fishing license nor a city of Troy access permit will be required for this event, all other fishing regulations 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. Also, a city of Troy access permit is normally required to fish at the Tomhannock Reservoir.

Beginning this year, the use of battery powered ice augers on the Tomhannock Reservoir is now allowed. However, gasoline and propane powered ice augers are still prohibited on the reservoir. The public is also reminded that ice fishing shelters of any kind are prohibited on the reservoir.

The Tomhannock Reservoir is a 1,700-acre public water supply that provides drinking water to the city of Troy and surrounding communities. DEC and Troy cooperatively manage public fishing on the reservoir.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open water season, when an angler usually needs a boat to access good fishing locations, no boat is required to access these locations once a water is covered with safe ice. It's also a great sport for families, as they can mix in skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or other activities during an ice fishing trip to keep everyone interested and happy.

As part of Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting initiative February 17-18, 2018, has been designated as a free fishing weekend. The requirement for a fishing license is waived during this period. This is a great opportunity to try ice fishing for the first time or for experienced anglers to take friends ice fishing for the first time. Beginning ice anglers are encouraged to download the Ice Fishing Chapter of DEC's new I FISH NY Beginners' Guide to Freshwater Fishing for information on how to get started ice fishing. Additional information, including a list of waters open to ice fishing, can found on the DEC ice fishing web page and the Public Lakes and Ponds map.

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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