Oswego County News Release
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January 28, 2008

State DEC Allocates $5 Million to Enhance Oswego County Fisheries

Oswego County Officials meet with DEC

HATCHERY IMPROVEMENTS PRAISED - Oswego County officials met with state DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. From left are Legislator Shawn Doyle, Pulaski; Jon Elmer, General Manager, Brookfield Power; Legislator Milferd Potter, Orwell and Altmar; David Turner, Oswego County Director of Tourism, Community Development and Planning; and DEC Commissioner Grannis. The state will allocate nearly $5 million to improve the hatchery and develop other projects in Oswego County.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has allocated nearly $5 million to improve the Lake Ontario sportfishery in Oswego County, Commissioner Pete Grannis announced Thursday.

Commissioner Grannis visited the DEC’s Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar to announce several projects that will be funded through the Occidental Chemical Corp. settlement dating back to Love Canal near Niagara Falls in the 1970s.

Sites that will receive funding in Oswego County include:

  • $2.2 million to study and upgrade trout and salmon production at the Salmon River Hatchery;
  • $500,000 for stream bank improvements to an 18-mile stretch of the Salmon River;
  • $100,000 for new aquariums and displays at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery. Included is an underwater camera that will provide visitors a view of migrating salmonids;
  • $500,000 for a boat launch and ice fishing access project on Sandy Pond. The exact site has not been announced; and
  • $1.5 million for a state-of-the-art fish tagging trailer to label and track 2.5 million trout and salmon in Lake Ontario.

The proposal also allocates $100,000 for a new “I Love NY” Great Lakes fishing brochure.

“We are very pleased that the DEC recognizes the importance of protecting and enhancing Oswego County’s resources,” said Oswego County Legislator Shawn Doyle, District 3, Pulaski, and chairman of the Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee. “The sportfishery, and the tourism industry, are vital to Oswego County’s economy, and we thank Commissioner Grannis and his staff for their support. It is vital that we protect and maintain the integrity of these resources.”

Legislator Doyle said Oswego County ranks first in the sales of non-resident fishing licenses across New York State, selling five times as many licenses to non-residents as nearby counties. In 2006, nearly 35,000 fishing licenses were sold in Oswego County to people that live outside of New York State.

The DEC held a series of public meetings across New York State early last year to obtain public input on the use of restoration money. The $12 million settlement is one of the largest in the nation for a natural resources damages claim based on recreational fishing losses.

“Stakeholders all along the lake recognize the importance of the Altmar fish hatchery,” said David Turner, Director of the Oswego County Department of Community Development, Tourism and Planning. “Many of them joined forces to advocate for improvements to the Salmon River and hatchery programs. We are very appreciative of their support.”

In a study released this month, the American Sportfishing Association estimated the economic impact of Great Lakes fishing in New York State to be $369,194,521 in 2006. Recreational fishing generated more than $122 million in salaries and provided more than 3,200 jobs.

“Here in Oswego County alone, we have 74 licensed fishing charter captains and river guides, 31 bait and tackle and outdoor stores, and 15 marinas doing business on Lake Ontario, the Salmon and Oswego Rivers, and on Oneida Lake,” said Turner. “We hold ten world and state fishing records for salmon, trout and other species.”

Other members of the Oswego County Legislature’s Economic Development and Planning Committee include vice chairman Morris Sorbello, Granby; Jack Beckwith, Hannibal; Arthur Gearsbeck, West Monroe; Louella LeClair, Fulton; Douglas Malone, Town of Oswego; and Kim Seager, Phoenix.

For visitor information and current fishing conditions in Oswego County, visit www.visitoswegocounty.com or call 1-800-248-4-FUN.

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