New Law Allows For More New Yorkers to Be Introduced to Fishing
Albany, NY (July 12, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to expand free fishing clinics in New York State, allowing more New Yorkers to experience fishing for the first time by increasing the number of free clinics that can be held throughout the state.
"Summer in New York is a fantastic time for families and individuals to take advantage of the numerous outdoor opportunities offered in each of our state’s beautiful regions," Governor Cuomo said. "This new law will allow more New Yorkers to take advantage of free fishing clinics, so our young people and other outdoor enthusiasts can learn to fish without having to purchase a license. Fishing is both a fun, outdoor activity, and an economic generator for communities across the state. I thank the bill sponsors for their leadership in helping this bill become law."
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) conducts fishing clinics to help introduce individuals and families to recreational angling. Participants are not required to have a fishing license in order to attend these clinics. Under previous law, only four free sport fishing clinics could be held annually in each of DEC's nine regions and DEC employees were required to provide at least part of the instruction at the events.
The law signed today by the Governor permits DEC to hold more clinics, and also allows other entities to conduct fishing clinics with DEC authorization. By allowing additional free sport fishing clinics, the law 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.
State Senator Catharine Young, said, "This idea came from the grassroots support of DEC and the Dansville Fish and Game Club, so local students could learn to fish. Because of their efforts, and Governor Cuomo's support, countless people statewide will be introduced to the joy of fishing, connect with nature, and spend quality family time together. It shows how citizens who have a good idea can make a difference."
Assembly Member Bob Sweeney, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Environmental Conservation, said, "As a recreational fisher myself, I am delighted that Governor Cuomo has signed into law my legislation to permit additional free recreational fishing clinics. Fishing is a time-honored activity which can either be relaxing or exhilarating and sometimes both. Fishing allows people to connect with nature, enjoy the natural beauty, and with a little luck, bring home lunch or dinner. Additional fishing clinics will introduce more New Yorkers to the sport."
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said, "DEC’s free fishing clinics introduce people of all ages to a great outdoor sport. By increasing the number of these popular events, even more New Yorkers and visitors will be able to enjoy their first-time fishing experience on the state’s abundant waterways. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this new law."
New York's sport fishing industry generates an estimated $1.8 billion in economic activity annually, supporting nearly 17,000 jobs.