Six-year-old Alivia Landy of Albany not only went fishing Monday, but got to stock the fish.
Alivia dumped a bucket of rainbow trout into the Six Mile Waterworks off Fuller Road, officially kicking off the state’s 2013 trout season.
“I really like fishing,” she said. “Sometimes I get some fish.”
Fishing enthusiasts young and old turned out to try to capture one of the nearly 2,000 rainbow trout from VanHornesville Fish Hatchery that were dumped into the man-made lake off Fuller Road by the Department of Environmental Conservation and volunteers.
DEC Commissioner Joe Martens said these sportsmen and women provide a boost to the upstate economy with more than $100 million in state and local taxes generated from fishing.
“When people come to fish, they spend money locally in the restaurants and hotels. They buy lots of equipment,” he said.
State officials are trying to encourage more hunting and fishing, Martens said. The recently enacted state budget reduces fishing
and hunting license fees in New York. The cost of the annual fishing license will drop from $29 to $25 and an annual hunting license will drop from $29 to $22.
The state has also increased the number of free fishing days throughout the state where people can fish without a license. Before, those free fishing days were limited to four per Department of Environmental Conservation region, according to Martens. Various nonprofit groups can now sponsor free fishing days after filling out a form online with the Department of Environmental Conservation.
A limited number of fishing rods are available at local libraries in Albany, Cohoes, Middleburgh, Scotia and Rensselaerville.
Mayor Jerry Jennings admitted that his suit was not the appropriate attire to fish, but he was willing to help with the stocking. He recalled fishing in the waterworks as a child and said it was great that the state is putting the focus on outdoor recreation.
“One of the selling points of upstate New York is everything we have available — our natural resources, the Adirondacks, our different lakes,” he said.
Eric Bennett of Colonie said it was great to start fishing again after a long winter.
“I like to go fishing just to be outdoors and get the fresh air and the peace and tranquility of it. I love catching fish. That’s always a bonus,” he said.
Paul Carney of Albany took a day off from his job in the maintenance department of Catholic Central High School.
Fishing is relaxing, according to Carney, and there is nothing like the feeling of getting a bite on the line.
Joe Pasquariello of Rotterdam was enjoying the day with his 13-year-old son, Dylan.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to show how they release the trout into the lake,” Joe Pasquariello said.
The younger Pasquariello said he learned everything about fishing from his father. “I’m decent,” he said.
The fishermen had different advice for success.
“You’ve just got to relax,” said Ernie Dillon of Albany.
Ten-year-old Aaron Bazicki of Colonie said when he feels a tug, he waits until he can see the fish go deeper underwater again, then he reels it in.
Alivia’s father, Anthony Landy, said he uses a gold spinner at the end of the line. The shiny gold color seems to work best at attracting fish. It seemed to work Monday as he hooked one.
“It was easy,” he said.