Record High Trout Numbers Indicate Promising Fishing Season

May 2, 2011
With the spring weather finally upon us, anglers are out. It looks like this fishing season will be as promising as ever, particularly later this season. Recently published reports by the State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) indicate the trout population is flourishing in Oswego County waterways. In 2010, anglers from September to November reported catching 32,146 steelhead. To put this into perspective, only 7,738 were taken in 2005 during the same period.

According to news articles, some say the number of catches is up in general due more fishermen in the waterways. Others say the food trout eat, such as minnows, is plentiful. Whatever the cause, those who are out with their poles have a better chance of filling pails and creoles this season. This also translates into good business for places like bait shops, restaurants and hotels near popular fishing spots. The Oswego County Division of Promotion and Tourism is already touting the news of the trout population in hopes of drawing more tourists to the region. More can be found at their website.

Detailed maps, and the secrets to a good catch, are available on the DEC’s website. There is a section dedicated to fishing that hosts anything from fishing advice, to dates for fishing workshops, and lists detailed information about local waterways, maps, access points, and news of streams and brooks that are typically stocked with trout in May. This can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/fishing.html. A list of local waterways in both Onondaga and Oswego counties stocked with trout can be found at http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/30465.html.

Fishing, and other outdoor sports such as hunting, ATV trailing, and snowmobiling, to name a few, are not only healthy pursuits but they fuel the state and local tourism industry. The American Sportfishing Association estimates that every year, New York State generates more than $754 million in total revenue from recreational freshwater fishing, as well as $243 million in salaries and wages and 6,920 jobs. Earlier this year, I reintroduced the bill (A4178) that would require the commissioner of economic development to develop a marketing strategy that would promote New York as a premiere destination for hunting and fishing entitled “I Love NY Outdoors.” This would help our state focus the tourists who already come here and really help the area capitalize on their visits. This bill is currently in the Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development committee of the Assembly.

Fishing events this season:

I wanted to mention a few fishing events that are on the horizon. For carp enthusiasts, there is the annual Baldwinsville Carp Tournament May 15-20. This is a popular and nationally recognized tournament that pits anglers against each other for the largest and the most fish in different categories throughout the five-day period. Some contests are held at Paper Mill Island, while others are held at Onondaga Lake Park. For more information, visit their website.

There also are a number of dates in May that anglers should note. In Pulaski, on May 7, there is a Salmon River cleanup. The Lake Ontario Tributary Anglers Council will meet at 10 a.m. at Fox Hollow Lodge, 2740 state Route 13. Volunteers will receive trash bags and gloves and disperse in teams to pick up trash along the river. The following weekend, the DEC will spearhead an effort to plant about 7,000 trees along the riverbank. Volunteers who wish to help may meet at the Salmon River Hatchery on County Route 22 in Altmar at 8 a.m.

On June 11, there is a Family Fishing Day at Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery in Elbridge from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. For information on Carpenter’s Brook and events held there, contact 315-689-9367 or visit their website.

If you have any questions or comments on this or any other state issue, or if you would like to be added to my mailing list or receive my newsletter, please contact my office at 200 North Second Street, Fulton, New York 13069, by e-mail at barclaw@assembly.state.ny.us or by calling (315) 598-5185. You also can friend me, Assemblyman Barclay, on Facebook.