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June 10, 2005

Explore Oswego County During Free Fishing Days June 25 and 26

The last weekend in June is designated every year as "Free Fishing Days" by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Since no fishing license is required, it's an excellent opportunity for first-time anglers and those who have drifted away from the sport to enjoy a leisurely day of fishing. This year's free Fishing Days are June 25 and 26.

"Even if you don't own a boat, Oswego County offers plenty of places where a family can fish from the shoreline," said Christine Gray, director of the County Department of Promotion and Tourism. "You can enjoy the amenities of nearby restaurants and shops along the Oswego River in downtown Oswego and Fulton, experience the excitement of the Salmon River, fish from the north shore of Oneida Lake, or explore our more remote streams and tributaries."

Oswego's River Walk, a paved walkway that starts near the harbor and extends to just below Varick Dam, offers a long stretch of shoreline access on both sides of the Oswego River. Parking is available at municipal lots along East and West First streets and Water Street.

Many folks also enjoy fishing along the canal wall from the trail way on the east side of the Oswego River in Fulton. Another nice spot for shoreline fishing is Indian Point Landing, just off Route 481 north of Fulton. A gazebo, picnic tables and ample parking make this a pleasant spot to relax.

Lake Neahtahwanta offers great fishing with a fishing pier, gazebo, picnic area and public restrooms at Bullhead Point. The nearby North Bay campground offers shoreline fishing, a boat launch and parking area. Both areas are just off state Route 3 on Fulton's west side.

There are several public access points along the Salmon River, starting from the new handicapped access ramp at Port Ontario off state Route 3, and continuing to the upper reservoir in Redfield. A comprehensive list, including designated fly-fishing sections, is contained the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism's guide, "Fishing and Hunting in Oswego County."

If you're looking for streamside fishing in a rustic location, there are a variety of streams with public fishing access areas throughout Oswego County. You can try the north and south branches of the Salmon River, Grindstone Creek in Richland, Little Sandy Creek in Sandy Creek, Orwell and Pekin brooks in Albion, and the west branch of Fish Creek in Williamstown.

"Fishing is a great way to relax and create some lasting family memories," said Gray. "These are only a few of the fishing areas in Oswego County. Whether you're fishing from shore or in a boat, I encourage you to explore the possibilities that Oswego County has to offer."

"Fishing and Hunting in Oswego County" is available on the county Web site at www.oswegocounty.com and by calling 1-800-248-4FUN (4386). The guide also includes a list of lake charter captains and river guides, marinas, taxidermists and other fishing services. For maps of the DEC's public fishing areas in Oswego County, visit the DEC Web site at http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/dfwmr/fish/pfr/. The DEC Web site also provides complete information on license requirements and fishing regulations.

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