Two fishing tournaments in Oswego County will be funded by the state through help by state Sen. Patty Ritchie.
A total of $150,000 has been secured to fund fishing tournaments and boost tourism in the Central and Northern New York regions. The funding will support 15 tournaments, including nine in St. Lawrence, four in Jefferson and two in Oswego County.
Oswego County tournaments receiving money are the Town of Sandy Creek (Sandy Pond Sportsmen’s Association): $10,000, and Oswego County Tourism Fishing Tournament, $30,000.
“Every year new visitors come to fish on Sandy Pond — and they can’t believe what a fantastic spot it is,” said Lee Harvey, president of the Sandy Pond Sportsmen’s Association.
“When it comes to fishing, Oswego County is truly a world-class destination and tournament fishing here attracts serious anglers from all over the northeast and mid-Atlantic states,” said David Turner, director of the Oswego County Office of Community Dvelopment, Tuorism and Planning.
“(This funding) should help us bring even more participants to these very popular events and assist in our efforts to encourage even more tourists to pay a visit to our region, check out our outdoor recreational opportunities and support our local economy,” he said.
Included in the funding is support for the 2014 BASS Eastern Divisional Championship, which will take place in September in Waddington as well as funding for the NYS BASS Masters tournament to be held in August in Ogdensburg.
“Here in Central and Northern New York, our rivers, lakes and streams are phenomenal natural resources that not only offer world-class opportunities for fishing, they also attract tourists to our area, boosting our local economy and creating jobs,” said Ritchie.
This weekend, June 28 and 29, is “Free Fishing Weekend,” an event allowing New York residents and visitors the chance to fish for free without a license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds or 50,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Ritchie has been a strong supporter of New York state’s $1.8 billion fishing industry by supporting the allowing of fishing licenses to run for a year from date of purchase instead of expiring at the end of the season, a roll back of the Legislature’s 2009 increase in fees in an effort to encourage more people to try the sport and $6 million in state budget funding to repair and upgrade fishing access.
Additionally, Ritchie also supported increasing the number of statewide free fishing days.