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June 16, 2008
State's Free Fishing Days Provide Perfect Opportunity
to Test Oswego County's Waters
By Spider Rybaak
New York boasts more waterfront than some island nations. Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Niagara and St. Lawrence Rivers comprise so much of our border with Canada, the area could be called our north shore. The Lake Champlain and Hudson River system runs the entire length of the state's east side. Even our relatively dry southern tier spawns the Susquehanna and Delaware Rivers, two of America's greatest waterways.
The water quality is so good and the fishing so great, the state has become one of the world's premier fishing destinations.
New York State is making that easy by designating June 28 andand 29 as Free Fishing Days--no license required. Oswego County is pitching in by providing the best, most easily--accessible fishing opportunities around.
“Since no license is required, this is a perfect time to take a friend or relative fishing,” notes David Turner, director of the county Department of community Development, Tourism and Planning Department.
Hooked in Oswego County
While the whole state is watered with dynamite fishing sites, its honey hole is unquestionably Oswego County. Besides claiming miles of Lake Ontario, the best salmonid fishery in the Great Lakes, it boasts Oneida Lake, one of the nation's premier walleye, bass and yellow perch hot spots, Fulton's Lake Neahhtahwanta, a highly productive crappie fishery, and Panther Lake, a relatively small body of water with big bass and tiger muskies.
Oswego County's rivers also provide excellent fishing. The north bank of the Oneida River--a great spot for black bass, northern pike, walleye, catfish, and panfish--forms the county line from its source at Oneida Lake to its mouth at Three Rivers Point. And the Oswego River, Lake Ontario's second largest tributary after the Niagara River, cuts the vast majority of its course through the county.
The Salmon River, the greatest coldwater fishery in the Northeast, contained within Oswego County. The Salmon River boasts the only meaningful summer whitewater action for trophy landlocked Atlantic salmon and Skamania (a warmwater-tolerant strain of steelhead) this side of the Mississippi.
It's often said that God doesn't deduct from a person's life the the time they they spent fishing. And that's got to to be the most pleasant prescription known to humankind for adding years to your life.
For current fishing conditions and detailed information on Oswego County's fishing hotspots, visit the Oswego County Web site at www.visitoswegocounty.com or contact the Oswego County Tourism Office, 46 E. Bridge Street, Oswego, NY 13126; 800-248-4FUN (4386); .
Spider Rybaak is an award-winning outdoor writer who has been published in more than 20 periodicals. He is the author of “Fishing Eastern New York” and “Fishing Western New York” guide books that cover 429 streams and lakes in New York State. Contact him by
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