For the first time since the late 1970s, Cazenovia Lake (Madison County) today received fish raised by DEC's Fish Hatchery System, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced. DEC staff stocked the lake with 23,280 walleye fingerlings raised at the DEC's Oneida Fish Hatchery located on the north shore of Oneida Lake in the village of Constantia. The fingerlings are approximately 1 ΒΌ" long when stocked and are the first of a five-year stocking regime aimed at restoring a quality walleye fishery to the lake.

"The reintroduction of walleye to Cazenovia Lake makes the lake a prime fishing destination for anglers locally and throughout New York State," DEC Regional Director Ken Lynch said. "Stocking the lake not only improves fishing opportunities for anglers, it also serves to bolster the economy of the area. Anglers who come to the Cazenovia to fish spend money in restaurants, stores and motels. It's a win-win for the region."

Thanks to efforts by local sportsmen and area officials over the past decade, public access to the lake is now available with a parking area at McNitt State Park, located on the northeastern shore of Cazenovia Lake, and a boating access system that allows anyone to launch from the village of Cazenovia's Lakeside Park. Information on the village's daily and seasonal pass system can be found at:

This and future year stockings will be evaluated by DEC fisheries biologists to determine whether survival and growth of the stocked walleye warrant future stockings once the initial five year stocking program is completed.

Governor Cuomo has expanded recreational opportunities of residents and tourists, positioning New York State as a recreation destination, connecting communicates to state lands, and improving the quality of life. Governor Cuomo's NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative is an effort to improve recreational opportunities for sportsmen and women and to boost tourism activities throughout the state. This includes streamlining fishing and hunting licenses, reducing license fees, improving access for fishing and increasing hunting opportunities in New York State. In support of this initiative, last year $10 million in NY Works funding has been dedicated to fish hatchery repairs and 50 new land and water access projects such as boat launches, hunting blinds, trails and parking areas.

Under the initiative, the 2015-16 Enacted Budget included an additional $8 million for state land access projects and an additional $4 million for the state's hatcheries in NY Works funding. The Budget also creates a new capital account which along with federal Pittman-Robertson funds will be used to manage, protect and restore fish and wildlife habitat, and to improve and develop public access for fish and wildlife-related recreation.

Further information about Wildlife Management Area improvements can be obtained from the DEC Wildlife Office in Cortland at 607-753-3095 ext. 247; information regarding improvements to fishing access sites can be obtained from the DEC Fisheries office in Cortland, 607-753-3095, ext. 213.