Sports

The annual Spring Family Fishing Festival will be held on Saturday, April 18, at Belmont Lake State Park from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Regional Director Peter A. Scully announced today. DEC, in cooperation with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP), and New York Sea Grant, will be hosting the event along with additional sponsors including The Fisherman magazine and radio stations 106.1WBLI and 102.3WBAB.

The festival highlights DEC's spring trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Prior to the festival, Belmont Lake will be stocked with approximately 4,000 brown, brook, and rainbow trout by DEC and OPRHP. Upper and Lower Twin Ponds, Oyster Bay Mill Pond, Massapequa Creek and Reservoir, as well as 17 other Long Island lakes will also be stocked with trout by the DEC, providing excellent prospects for spring fishing in both Nassau and Suffolk Counties.

The following list reflects the Spring 2009 Trout Stocking for Nassau county in terms of the anticipated number of yearling and older trout to be stocked into listed waters during spring 2009. Actual numbers and stocking times may vary depending on fish availability and weather conditions. The fish are stocked with help from County Federated Sportsmen.

The Massapequa Reservoir in the Town of Oyster Bay will receive in March: 470 Rainbow Trout from 8 to 9 inches; 310 Brown Trout from 12 to 15 inches; on April 1 it will receive 850 Rainbow Trout from 8.5 to 9.5 inches; 310 Brown Trout from 12 to 15 inches; and 420 Brown Trout from 12 to 15 inches.

The Oyster Bay Mill Pond in the Town of Oyster Bay will receive in March, 100 Brown Trout from 12 to 15 inches; and 470 Rainbow Trout from 8 to 9 inches.

In Hempstead, Upper Twin Pond will receive in March: 410 Brown Trout, 12 to 15 inches; and 140 Rainbow Trout from 8 to 9 inches; and in April: 100 Brown Trout, 12 to 15 inches; and 570 Rainbow Trout from 8.5 to 9.5 inches.

"Freshwater fishing is a fun and rewarding recreational activity that the whole family can enjoy, particularly on Long Island," Scully said.

"The spring fishing festival is a great opportunity to learn about fishing, and to take advantage of a variety of children's activities that help to provide a rewarding family experience."

Chart Guthrie, DEC Regional Fisheries Manager for Long Island, said: "At this festival you can learn about freshwater fishing opportunities on Long Island, try your hand at fishing for trout, learn about local fishing clubs, and the kids can participate in the casting contest and other fun activities. The freshwater fishing license requirement for anglers age 16 and older has been suspended for this event because this is one of the four free fishing events allowed in the Long Island region to help promote freshwater fishing in the state."

Festival activities begin at 10 a.m. and will include open fishing, fishing instruction, fly casting demonstrations and fish cleaning services. Additionally, a display area will be set up by the DEC and local fishing clubs. Participants are urged to try their hand at fly casting, as demonstrations will be on-going.

Loaner rods and free bait will be available to participants throughout the day. All event activities are provided free of charge.

Children's activities also begin at 10 a.m. and will include an inflatable slide, temporary tattoos, the "Spring Fling" casting contest, as well as hands-on educational displays provided by the DEC's Education Unit. Children participating in the casting contest will have a chance to win some exciting prizes, which will be supplied by DEC's I FISH NY Program, OPRHP, and Reggie's Fishing Stuff.

Although no fishing license is needed for this event, fishing licenses will be on sale beginning at 10 a.m. for interested participants who wish to continue fishing throughout the remainder of the 2009 license year. A vehicle parking fee of $6 will be in effect; parking is free for Empire Pass holders.

In the event of inclement weather, call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or Belmont Lake State Park at (631) 667-5055. There is no rain date for this event.

For more information about the festival, please call I FISH NY at (631) 444-0283 or visit our website at www.ifishnewyork.org. For information about freshwater fishing on Long Island or the spring trout stocking program in Nassau and Suffolk Counties, please call the DEC Bureau of Fisheries at (631) 444-0280 or online at www.dec.state.ny.us/website/reg1/reg1bof.html. IfishNY@gw.dec.state.ny.us


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