Albany, N.Y. (June 23, 2015) --New York State announces 2015 Sport Fishing and Angling events for local and traveling competitors to catch the nearly 165 species of fish found throughout the state. Renowned anglers from around the world travel to New York where sport-fishing tournaments cater to novices, world-renowned competitors and fishing outfitters year-round. While experience builds expertise, fishing is one of the most accessible sports where excitement and satisfaction can be found from the first outing. NYS fishing and angling attracts 2.3 million anglers to the freshwater streams, great lakes and ocean waters of New York every year.
Governor Andrew Cuomo's 2014-2015 budget included $4 million to improve fish hatcheries and additional funding to open 50 new access points to help strengthen the fishing industry. According to the American Sportfishing Association, the industry generates approximately $2.69 billion in spending each year and employs 32,317 in New York State. Local and visiting anglers visit the state's 70,000 miles of rivers and streams, about 7,000 lakes and ponds, more than 400 miles of Great Lakes coastline, 400 miles of Erie Canal waterways, almost 2000 islands dotting the St. Lawrence Seaway and 120 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline.
A Preview of Fishing in New York State:
Reel family fun in the City: On Saturday, June 20, top bass anglers in the U.S, Michael Iaconelli, the only angler to have won the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship, and Matt Lee, the first collegiate angler to appear on the cover of Bassmaster magazine, held free fishing demos at Central Park Lake near 72nd Street to encourage urban teens and families to fish. New York State Tourism has partnered with New York City Parks and the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) with the official Bassmasters organization and Toyota for the 2015 Central Park Fishing Demo. More than 300 fishing rods and reels were available to participants and will now be donated to the NYC Parks Urban Park Rangers Program to support summertime fishing clinics. Held in conjunction with the 11th anniversary of Adventures NYC, this free event brought crowds of nearly 30,000.
Five boroughs of adventure: Fishing is one of the key focuses of the Urban Park Rangers, whose mission includes connecting New Yorkers to nature in their own backyard. More than 500 youth (aged 4 to 18) from low-income or economically disadvantaged neighborhoods are expected to participate in full-day or overnight fishing programs as part of the Urban Park Rangers Custom Adventures Program. Throughout the summer, Weekend Adventures at New York City parks offer catch-and-release fishing for largemouth bass, pumpkinseed sunfish, carp or chain pickerel, while learning the ethics of fishing and the ecology of waterways. Younger children are invited to try their hand at seining and, netting creatures close to shore, while fly-fishing and salt water programs cater to more advanced anglers. www.nycgovparks.org/programs/rangers
Free Fishing for All: New York State residents and visitors may fish for free without a fishing license in any of the state's 7,500 lakes and ponds and 50,000 miles of rivers and streams during the weekend of June 27-28. Saltwater anglers may also fish in marine waters for migratory marine fish species without enrolling in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry.
In addition to the June free fishing weekend, legislation signed by Governor Cuomo now allows for an increase in the number of authorized yearly statewide free fishing days. This year, Veteran's Day, November 11, has also been designated as a free fishing day.
Bassmaster Elite: The Thousand Islands-Seaway will once again play host to one of the most prestigious fishing competitions. Elite anglers will converge in Waddington, NY for the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite on the St. Lawrence River, Thursday, July 30 - Sunday, August 2, 2015 as they get set to compete for the top bass fishing prize.
Angling for Hispanics: New York State is collaborating with the Recreational Boating and Fishing organization on its "Vamos a Pescar" (Let's Go Fishing) program promoting the joys of fishing to Hispanics throughout the state. The initiative includes a bilingual website with sections on how, when and where to fish, how to get a boating and fishing license and an invitation to order a free beginner's boating guide. http://vamosapescar.org.
Explore 165 fish species in NYS: Lake Champlain in the Adirondacks region was recently named the 5th best bass lake in the U.S., and the Catskills region is known as the birthplace of American fly fishing, which uses artificial imitations to fool fish into thinking they are chasing actual flies. Known for their fighting spirit, smallmouth bass are among the attractions in Central New York. The cool spring-fed Otsego Lake and the Susquehanna River offer excellent opportunities to fish for smallmouth bass, while Oneida Lake's largemouth and smallmouth bass have earned it a spot among America's top 15 bass fishing spots.
The lakes, streams and rivers of the Thousand-Islands-Seaway region are known for trophy-size fish; muskies in 50-lb category are caught near Clayton, where the Thousand Islands Museum features a Muskie Hall of Fame.
Fighting mako shark that can clear the water on one of its many jumps can be a thrilling fishing experience. Long Island charter boats offer deep-sea fishing for sharks, bluefin tuna, striped bass, sea bass and other salt water fish.
Pike can grow to more than 40 pounds and some of the largest Northern Pike ever caught have been pulled out of Great Sacandaga Lake in the Capital Region and other Adirondack waters. Their solitary nature, size and strength make them a tough fish to find and a prized species to land.
Salmon are among New York State's largest, most popular and hard-fighting sport fish. One of the best places to find them is Lake Ontario in the Greater Niagara region where the waters are stocked with both native Atlantic salmon as well as several types of Pacific salmon. Lake Ontario and its tributaries are stocked with Chinook and coho salmon. During the summer months, both Atlantic and Pacific salmon head for the deeper parts of the lake, so fishing charters are the best way to reach these rod-bending grand fish.
In the Hudson River Valley, the warm, weed-rich shallows and slow moving lower Hudson River is home to a European transplant common carp. While the record catch weighed in at over 50 pounds, they are more frequently reeled in between 10 to 30 pounds.
Another unusual place to fish is in the glacier carved lakes of the Finger Lakes region. Some lakes are so deep they function as what the fishing world calls "two-story fisheries," which include both cold water fish such as trout and Atlantic salmon, and warm water fish like the region's renowned trophy bass that often weigh in at 5 pounds.
These are just a few of the diverse fishing experiences in New York State. For more, visit www.iloveny.com. Details on fishing license requirements and other regulations along with fascinating in-depth info on the many species that call New York home are available at www.dec.ny.gov. The summer also brings a full calendar of fishing tournaments.
About New York State
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York's attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it's wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like hiking, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers. For more information, visit www.iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at www.iloveny.com/thebeat.
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