State of eastern Finger Lakes fisheries meetings

Two upcoming public meetings to discuss Finger Lakes fisheries, specifically the fisheries of Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes, have been scheduled during the month of March, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. The new “State of the Finger Lakes” public meetings will be held in Auburn, Cayuga County, and Groton, Tompkins County.”These first public forums on the State of the Eastern Finger Lakes are meant to provide an opportunity for DEC Fisheries scientists to share their knowledge about the fishery resources of Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes,” said DEC Commissioner Joe Martens. “Governor Cuomo supports these efforts that provide an excellent opportunity for interested anglers to interact with the managers who study these fisheries. Our staff is committed to sound management of the Finger Lake’s fisheries resources and strives to maintain high-quality angling opportunities and the associated economic benefits they support.”The Finger Lakes and their tributaries support thriving populations of fish, including a variety of trout and salmon, bass, walleye, yellow perch, panfish and esocids. Cayuga, Owasco, Skaneateles and Otisco Lakes comprise more than 60,000 acres, and a 2007 statewide angler survey estimated more than 475,000 angler days spent on these four Finger Lakes. The estimated value of these fisheries exceeded $8.9 million to the local New York economy.The meeting dates are as follows:Monday, March 18, 2013: 6:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.at the Bass Pro Shops conference room, 1579 Clark Street Rd, Auburn, NY 13021 (Cayuga County).Wednesday, March 20, 2013: 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. at the Groton High School auditorium, 400 Peru Rd, Groton, NY 13073 (Tompkins County).DEC biologists will make a number of presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, warmwater fish, fishing regulations, sea lamprey control, and the DEC’s Angler Diary Program. There will be ample time at the end of the scheduled program for the audience to interact with the presenters.Governor Cuomo’s Open for Hunting and Fishing Initiative is an effort to improve recreational activities for in-state and out-of-state sportsmen and sportswomen and to boost tourism opportunities throughout the state. This initiative includes the streamlining of hunting and fishing licensing and reducing license fees, improved access for fishing at various sites across the state, stocking as much as 900,000 pounds of fish, expanding fishing clinics and increasing hunting opportunities in various regions. Through these efforts, New York has become a premier destination for bass fishing tournaments at the Great Lakes, Finger Lakes, Lake Champlain and Oneida Lake and purchased over 26,000 acres across the state in 2012 open to sportsmen for hunting, fishing and trapping.

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