ALBANY - Photos from Oswego County and Central New York were chosen as winners in the angling category in the WomenHuntFishNY photo contest held this summer by the state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos announced the winner Oct. 22. After sifting through almost 4,000 photo entries, DEC staff chose 14 winners and runners-up.

“The response we received to the WomenHuntFishNY fishing photo contest was astounding, which made choosing the winner that much more difficult,” Seggos said. “These images cast light on the Empire State’s fantastic fishing opportunities and the excitement enjoyed by those who pursue the sport. Our hope is that this contest encourages even more women and girls to try their luck and cast a line.”

Winners and runners-up were chosen in each of the following categories:

Freshwater Fishing (Inland) winner: Crystal Shore (Oneida Lake); runner-up: Michelle Muir

Freshwater Fishing (Great Lakes) winner: Rachael Bush (Orwell Creek); runner-up: Dana Paciello (Lake Ontario)

Saltwater fishing winner: Angela Bryanne De Jesus (East River); runner-up: Samantha Moses (Cold Spring Harbor)

Ice Fishing winner: Courtney Bly (Silver Lake); runner-up: Jennifer Pelletier (Lake George)

Youth Fishing winner: Lydia Houck (Lake George); runner-up: L. Murphy

Multi-Generational winner: Stacy Hollenbeck (Sandy Creek, Hamlin, NY); runner-up: Christielee Bower

Action Shot winner: Brianna Cook (West Canada Creek); runner-up: Sarah Eilers (Lincoln Pond)

Winning entries will be featured in DEC’s print and electronic publications, including DEC’s website and The Conservationist magazine, to help spread the word about the great fishing in the Empire State, and to inspire future generations of women anglers. Only photos taken in New York State were considered for the contest.

Although the contest has ended, all anglers, hunters, and trappers are encouraged to share their photos with DEC at any time of year. All submissions will become property of DEC to be used in promotion and outreach efforts. Send photos to: wildlife@dec.ny.gov.

According to a 2015 report by the state Comptroller’s Office of Budget and Policy Analysis, spending on hunting- and fishing-related activities totaled more than $5 billion in New York in 2011. About 170,000 women purchase fishing licenses in New York state each year, and more than 50,000 women are registered in the Recreational Marine Fishing Registry.

According to a 2011 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey of fishing, hunting, and wildlife-associated recreation, women make up about 25% of New York anglers.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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