Assemblyman Joseph Saladino, Vice Chairman of the Hunting and Fishing Task Force and his assembly minority task force colleagues today hosted a forum at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. State Department of Environmental Conservation officials, business owners and representatives of several sportsmenís associations also participated in the session.
Saladino is the prime sponsor of legislation designed to authorize and direct the Department of Environmental Conservation to conduct a study concerning the levels of striped bass in the Long Island Sound for the purpose of demonstrating to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission that restrictions on the recreational fishing of striped bass should be relaxed.
ďAs hunting and fishing industries are essential to the stateís quality of life and economy, these forums are a wonderful way to help with the conservation and promotion of the hunting and fishing opportunities available to Long Island residents and all New Yorkers,Ē said Assemblyman Saladino.
Prior to the forum, Saladino and other panel members toured the Salmon River Fish Hatchery, which specializes in raising steelhead, chinook salmon, coho salmon, brown trout and landlocked salmon. The hatchery provides fish for more than 100 lakes and rivers, including Lake Ontario, and produces more than 2 million fingerlings (young fish 3-5 inches long) and nearly 1 million yearlings (a year old and more) each year.
Forum guest speakers included representatives from the National Wild Turkey Federation, New York Bowhunters, New York Houndsmen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Venison Donation Coalition, SCOPE of Central New York, Eastern Lake Ontario Salmon and Trout Association, Oswego County ATV Club, Oswego County Federation of Sportsmen, Redfield Fish and Game Club, Stave Mill Club and Tributary Advisory Stakeholders Council.
The 20-member Assembly minority task force is charged with gathering information from local hunting and fishing organizations, business owners and tourism officials on ways to improve New Yorkís sporting industry. It travels throughout the state, developing strategies to increase the number of hunters and anglers and raise awareness of the impact hunting and fishing have on the stateís economy.
Todayís forum was the sixth in a series of sessions. At the conclusion, Assemblyman Saladino and the task force will craft a legislative package designed to increase the vitality of the hunting and fishing industries in New York. The next forum is Thursday, May 18 in Cayuga County.