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For Release: Tuesday, February 18, 2020

DEC and State Parks to Host Free Ice Fishing Clinic at Canadarago Lake on Wednesday, Feb. 19

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (State Parks) are co-sponsoring a free ice fishing clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 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.

The event was originally scheduled at Glimmerglass State Park, but was moved due to the lack of sufficient ice on Otsego Lake.

"Finding activities that are fun for the entire family can be difficult during these cold winter months, but ice fishing continues to increase in popularity here in New York State as more people are discovering this unique sport," Regional Director Goertz said. "We encourage anglers of all abilities to take advantage of this free ice fishing clinic and safely enjoy the natural resources that are still abundant in New York even when it's cold outside."

Anglers can expect to catch yellow perch and chain pickerel. Sunfish, black crappie, rock bass, black bass, and walleye are also present in Canadarago Lake.

Pre-registration is appreciated but not required. Participants can pre-register by calling State Parks at 607-547-8662.

Although a DEC fishing license is not required for this event, all other statewide regulations remain in effect. Outside of free fishing events, 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.

Ice fishing continues to increase in popularity in New York State. Unlike the open water seasons where anglers may rely on a boat to access good fishing locations, no boat is required to access locations that are covered with safe ice. Ice fishing is a great sport for families and can be combined with additional opportunities for activities such as skating, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to keep all participants interested and engaged.

Anglers are reminded that a minimum of four inches of clear ice is usually considered safe for accessing ice on foot but if traveling on white ice, it is recommended to double the thickness. Ice thickness can vary greatly on any body of water. Anglers should be particularly wary of areas of moving water and around boat docks and other structures 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. The thickness if ice can easily be tested with an auger or ice spud at various spots to assess if conditions are safe.

To learn more about New York's aquatic resources, visit DEC's fishing webpage.

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