Cuomo Proposes Legislation to Expand Free Fishing Clinics in New York State

March 5, 2012 Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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Cuomo Proposes Legislation to Expand Free Fishing Clinics in New York State

March 5, 2012 Updated Mar 5, 2012 at 2:58 PM EDT

(WKBW release) New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Monday proposed legislation to expand the opportunity for free fishing clinics in New York State, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by enabling the Department of Environmental Conservation to increase the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state.

According to a news release:

Governor Cuomo said, "New York State's waterways provide some of the best fishing opportunities in the nation, and these additional free fishing clinics are designed to get more New Yorkers hooked on fishing which will help the local economies."

The DEC conducts fishing clinics to help introduce individuals and families to recreational angling. Under current law, only four free sport fishing clinics may be held annually in each of DEC's nine regions and DEC employees must provide at least part of the instruction at the events. Participants are not required to have a fishing license in order to attend these clinics. By allowing additional free sport fishing clinics, the Governor's proposal is designed to promote participation in recreational angling across New York State. Many local sporting federations and recreational groups run similar fishing clinics and enabling these groups to administer free clinics with DEC guidelines will benefit all New Yorkers who may be interested in fishing and enjoying the outdoors.

Governor Cuomo's proposal seeks to expand the number of free clinics that may be conducted annually by increasing the number of clinics that DEC can hold as well as allowing other entities to conduct such clinics with DEC authorization. The Governor's proposal also ensures that, if the clinic is held in the marine district, participants would not be required to sign up for the recreational marine fishing registration.

The Governor's proposal also allows organizations designated by DEC to conduct free sport fishing clinics. Currently, only DEC staff is authorized to provide these clinics. DEC would establish guidelines for other organizations to conduct clinics.

DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, "DEC's free fishing clinics are wildly popular across the state and provide an excellent opportunity for young and old alike to enjoy the great outdoors. It's the perfect chance for those wanting to try fishing to see if it's an activity they would like to make into a hobby."