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June 16, 2004
Summer Brings Plenty of Opportunities for Fishing and Boating in Oswego County
By Doug Fuegel
OSWEGO COUNTY, NY -- Oswego County tops all of New York for great fishing opportunities. It is laced with countless lakes and rivers including the canal system and the gateway to the world via beautiful Lake Ontario. Oswego County embraces approximately 30 miles of the Lake Ontario shoreline with several safe harbors and embayments including Sandy Pond, the Salmon River and Port Ontario, Little Salmon River, Catfish Creek and Lake Ontario's premier harbor, the Port of Oswego. If you love the water for all its recreational opportunities, there is something in Oswego County for everyone.
Anglers who took to the water early this season were greeted with great fishing success, lots of action and beautiful healthy fish both in Lake Ontario and Oneida Lake. As they say in the angling world, the bite is on. From all indications great fishing will continue right through the summer season. Considering the tremendous number of smallmouth bass that are attacking walleye and salmon lures, anglers are in for another great smallmouth bass season on this area's waters. The statewide bass season officially opened Saturday, June 19.
Pleasure boaters and fishermen are expressing a justifiable deep concern for the price of boat fuel, but with a few simple tips we can still enjoy a boating/fishing season that months ago seemed an eternity away. We need only to remember the terrible harsh winter now behind us and let ourselves move forward and enjoy the great water world of this region.
A few things we can all do to increase our boat performance and keep fuel consumption to a minimum are:
- Get rid of all unwanted or unneeded extra equipment; it adds weight to the boat.
- Make sure your engine is tuned to perfection, with new sparkplugs, carburetor clean and adjusted properly, and new and clean fuel filters.
- Make sure your prop is balanced and free of nicks and dings. A poorly tuned prop can cost up to 10 percent of boat performance.
- When running, make sure you have your boat properly trimmed using trim tabs or weight distribution; a properly trimmed boat moves through the water with less effort -- and less fuel.
- Always keep the bottom of your boat free and clean of slime and algae. Any rough surface or plant growth on the boat bottom will only slow the boat and increase fuel consumption.
Since 1991 anglers of all ages and from all places can fish for free in New York State during the last full weekend in June. This year the free fishing days are Saturday and Sunday, June 26 and 27. This move by our DEC offers a wonderful time for all the family to enjoy a day or two of fishing, especially first timers to the sport.
Even if you don't own a boat, Oswego County has provided plenty of shoreline access. The beautiful Linear Park along the shore of Oswego Harbor, the handicapped access to the Salmon River at Port Ontario, and the handicapped access site at Toad Harbor on the north shore of Oneida Lake are but a few ideal shore fishing locations.
If it's your desire to get out on the open water, Oswego County has a top-notch fleet of privately operated charter operations. A complete list is available in the Fishing and Hunting Guide offered free by the Oswego County Department of Promotion and Tourism. This and other great brochures on Oswego County are available by calling 315-349-8322, visiting the web site at www.oswegocounty.com or writing to Promotion and Tourism, 46 E. Bridge St., Oswego, NY 13126.
With each recreational season, whether winter or summer, our first concern must be safety. Fishing and boating are no exception. On all vessels under 26 feet in length, New York State requires that each child wear at all times a U.S. Coast Guard flotation device. Federal law states that all boats under 16 feet in length -- even kayaks and canoes -- must have an approved wearable PFD for each person on board. Boats over 16 feet in length must have an approved PFD for each person, plus a type IV, throwable device.
The well-established world class salmon and trout fishery in the eastern basin of Lake Ontario and its tributaries, Oneida Lake's premiere walleye fishery, Sandy Pond's northern pike fishery, and the countless miles of beautiful trout streams only serve to add to the bounty of resources of this region.
Doug Fuegel is the weekly outdoor writer for the Oswego County Weeklies, freelances for several outdoor publications and contributor to several area tourism guides. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, past president of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association, and member of the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council. He recently retired from several years as a charter captain on eastern Lake Ontario. He resides in West Monroe with his wife Shirley and son Jeff. You can contact Doug at 315-668-9492 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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