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DEC sets Lake Ontario fisheries meeting for March 16 in Lockport

LOCKPORT – The state Department of Environmental Conservation will host a public meeting on the state of Lake Ontario fisheries from 6:30 to 9 p.m. March 16 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building on the Niagara County Fairgrounds, 4487 Lake Ave., Lockport.

It’s the third of three meetings in Lake Ontario shoreline communities in March to update the fishing community on the state government’s plans for fish stocking and hatcheries, as well as changes to the procedures for hunting and fishing licenses. The others are Monday in Rochester and March 10 in Pulaski, Oswego County.

The DEC, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will make presentations, including updates on the status of trout and salmon fisheries, forage fish, and stocking programs. The organizers promise ample time for questions from the audience.

The DEC says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced a program to streamline fishing and hunting licenses, reduce license fees, improve access for fishing and increase hunting opportunities. The state has allocated $10 million for fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

Cuomo’s proposed 2015-16 budget contains an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state’s hatcheries, as well as creating a fund to augment federal money already being received for protection of fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.

Information about DEC’s Lake Ontario fisheries assessment programs can be found at: http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/27068.html.