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February 14, 2013

Free fishing day and clinic set

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Cooperstown Crier

---- — The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation will co-host a free fishing day and ice fishing clinic.

DEC Regional Director Gene Kelly announced that festivities will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at Glimmerglass State Park on Otsego Lake in the town of Springfield. 

“This is a great opportunity for families to learn more about the great sport of ice fishing and New York’s natural resources,” Kelly said in a media release. “This event is geared toward kids and those who are new to the sport of ice fishing.”

According to the release, anglers could potentially catch sunfish, perch, bass, pickerel, walleye and trout. A warming area and refreshments will be available. Bait and tackle will be provided, but supplies are limited so people are encouraged to bring their own equipment if they have it. There will be an inside program in the Lakeview Room with lessons on the basics of ice fishing, ice safety, fish filleting and winter lake ecology from noon to 1 p.m.

Everyone is invited to take part in this event where no fishing license is required. Ordinarily, anyone age 16 or older is required to obtain a license when fishing or helping another person to fish.

Pre-registration is appreciated. For more information about the event or to pre-register, contact event Coordinator Rich Sheckells at 547-8662 or email friendsofglimmerglass@gmail.com. More information can also at www.friendsofglimmerglass.com.

To further encourage fishing in New York state, Gov. Cuomo signed legislation last year expanding the opportunity for free fishing clinics, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling DEC to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state. The Free Fishing Days program began in 1991 to allow all people the opportunity to sample the fishing the state has to offer.

According to the release, New York’s sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.

While a DEC fishing license is not required for the free fishing day, DEC’s other fishing rules and regulations remain in effect. To learn more about New York’s regulations and information on how and where to obtain a fishing license, visit DEC’s website at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/7917.html.