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Sept. 15, 2006

Celebrate National Hunting and Fishing Day Sept. 23 at Salmon River Hatchery

ALTMAR, NY - Seminars on salmon fishing, special tours of the hatchery, firearm safety and information on outdoor recreational sports await families at this year's open house Saturday, Sept. 23, at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Salmon River Fish Hatchery.

This is the eleventh open house for the hatchery, located at 2133 county Route 22 in Altmar. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. There is no admission charge.

Activities will begin Friday evening, Sept. 22, with seminars in the hatchery auditorium. Mike Connerton, Ph.D., from the DEC's Lake Ontario Cape Vincent Field Station will present an update on the DEC's salmon research. Members of the Lake Ontario Steelhead Association will offer workshops on salmon fishing. The seminars will run from 6 to 9 p.m. and are limited to 75 people. There is no charge for the seminars but advance registration is required by calling 315/298-7605.

On Saturday, fish hatchery staff will offer special tours of the start tank in the lower level and the salmon-rearing tank outside. Cornell Cooperative Extension of Oswego County will present firearm safety education from the 4H Shooting Sport program. An enclosed air rifle range will enable youth and adults to improve their target shooting as part of the firearm safety program.

"The hatchery provides over five million salmon and trout per year to the Great Lakes in New York State," said Francis Verdoliva, Salmon River Program Coordinator for the DEC. "There will be many hands-on activities geared to provide a learning experience for the entire family."

The Salmon River is the largest cold-water tributary entering Lake Ontario. Thousands of adult Pacific salmon return from Lake Ontario to the Salmon River every fall. Visitors will be able to see migrating salmon swimming upstream and climbing the fish ladder to return to the hatchery.

Throughout the day there will be demonstrations on casting, tying flies, and fly-fishing. Visitors can view an exhibit of rare and endangered fish or sign up for on-stream demonstrations and learn about fishing for Pacific salmon. Children can identify different fish at the fish petting zoo or visit Beaverdam Brook to learn about aquatic insects and other creatures. Along with the special presentations, many conservation organizations and agencies will provide exhibits and information about their role in the Salmon River Corridor and the Lake Ontario ecosystem.

The nearby Salmon River Falls, on Falls Road in the Town of Orwell, offers trails and viewing areas with spectacular scenery. The more adventurous can walk the trail to the bottom of the gorge of the 110-foot waterfall.

Events at the hatchery are being held in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day. National Hunting and Fishing Day was designated by then-President Richard Nixon and Congress 34 years ago to recognize generations of hunters and anglers for the time and the money they have donated to wildlife conservation programs.

From Pulaski, take NYS Route 13 and head east for approximately seven miles. Turn left onto County Route 22 at Altmar, and follow the signs to the hatchery. For more information contact the Salmon River Hatchery at (315) 298-7605.

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