SPRINGVILLE — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo greeted anglers at the opening of the 2013 trout and salmon fishing season, on April 1.
The governor invited New Yorkers of all ages to participate in the fishing opportunities offered at lakes, ponds, streams and creeks, across the state.
Opportunities for groups or organizations to conduct free sportfishing clinics were expanded, as part of Cuomo’s New York Open for Hunting and Fishing initiative, which was launched, earlier this year.
“Fishing is a great activity to connect people to the outdoors and we are fortunate to have some of the finest and most diverse fishing opportunities in the country, right here in New York,” Cuomo said. “With more clinics and events at our state parks, this year, many more groups and organizations can help pass the sport of fishing onto others.”
The governor said, as the trout and salmon season opens, “I remind New Yorkers that, whether you’re an expert angler or fishing for the first time, you can be sure to enjoy yourself at our state’s beautiful lakes and streams.”
Commissioner Joe Martens of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said, “In an effort to increase fishing participation in New York state, these additional clinics will offer a great opportunity to introduce someone to the sport of fishing. I encourage New Yorkers to partake in one of these clinics, to learn more about fishing and utilize the outstanding natural resources available here, for prime fishing spots, in the state.”
State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “It’s no wonder families and fishing enthusiasts alike find plenty of reasons to ‘get hooked’ on fishing and interacting with our natural surroundings in state parks, each season.”
Each year, the state DEC sponsors free fishing clinics, throughout the state. Participants at these events learn about fish identification, fishing equipment and techniques, fisheries management, angling ethics and aquatic ecology.
In a stated effort of supporting and encouraging increased recreational fishing, Cuomo signed legislation to repeal the statutory restriction on the number of free sportfishing clinics that may be conducted, last year.
State law had previously limited the number of clinics in each of the DEC’s nine regions to four. In addition, the DEC may now authorize designees to conduct such clinics, with or without direct DEC participation.
Groups and organizations that desire to conduct a clinic must follow guidelines, developed by the DEC. The guidelines and an application to conduct free sportfishing clinics can be found on the DEC’s website, www.dec.ny.gov. Applications must be returned to the DEC for review and approval, at least 30 days prior to the date of the event.
The state office of parks, recreation and historic preservation is joining the DEC to host upcoming special angling events, across the state, including one at Letchworth State Park, in Livingston and Wyoming counties.
A free “Learn to Catch a Fish” family picnic will be held on Saturday, May 25 from 11 – 4 p.m. The event will feature games, activities, educational workshops, free fishing (no license required), free lunch and prizes.
New York state’s free fishing days will be held June 29 – 30. During this period, any resident or non-resident of the state may fish the marine or fresh waters of New York state, without a fishing license or enrollment in the recreational marine fishing registry.
This year, Cuomo launched the NY Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative, with a stated goal of improving recreational activities, for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state, while maintaining New York’s fishing and wildlife programs.
This initiative included plans for streamlining hunting and fishing licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing at various sites, across the state, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions.
For more information about this initiative, visit www.governor.ny.gov/press/02202013-ny-open-for-fishing-and-hunting.
According to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey, in 2011, New York state was second in the nation, in total angler spending on fishing-related items and sixth in non-residential angler spending. This spending generated an estimated $108 million in state and local taxes.
New York state remains a leader in the number of angler licenses, at an estimated 1.88 million. The DEC estimated that, this year, it will stock as much as 900,000 pounds of fish for anglers in lakes and waterways across the state.