New York’s world-class fishing: Let’s keep it that way

We’ve been saying all along that we have a world class fishery. Our diversity is one of our biggest selling points but there are so many other aspects that truly make it appealing to anglers from other countries.

One is the access we have to so many different kinds of waters. I live a long cast from the Erie Canal, a respectable fishery in its own right – underrated for sure. I’m 15 minutes from Olcott and 20 minutes from Wilson on Lake Ontario. I’m also a half hour drive from the Niagara River (either upper or lower) and I can make Lake Erie in 40 minutes. Who could ask for more?

To help substantiate our “world class” claim, we’ve had groups come in from Germany, England and Sweden to test the waters so to speak. The end result leaves them begging for more. They can’t believe the smorgasbord of fish available, the different places you can fish and the fact that they can find areas that are seemingly untouched. Yes, we are spoiled here in New York.

In 2018, Niagara Falls USA is about to take it to that world class level by hosting the Confederation Internationale de la Pesche Sportive (CIPS) in May – a perfect time to truly show off the myriad of angling opportunities – dpring salmon on Lake Ontario; Lower Niagara River trout from boat and shore; Lake Erie bass and walleye fishing; inland lakes like Chautauqua or the Finger Lakes if they so desire. We could go on and on. The CIPS Confederation will be convening at the new Doubletree Hotel in Niagara Falls and it will be the first time that the group has ever met in the United States. It’s a big deal!

With Niagara Falls as an opening backdrop, CIPS delegates will be able to see first-hand what we’ve been saying all along – New York state fishing is great! I Love NY and the state’s Division of Tourism is recognizing that fishing is an important tool to attract people from outside the area on a year-round basis. Not just domestic fishermen and fisherwomen either—people from all around the planet.

Here in American, I Love NY representatives have been rubbing elbows with Bassmaster tournament coordinators to lock in Elite Series events around the state. It makes sense, especially when you look at the group’s Top 100 bass fishing spots consistently include the likes of Lake Erie, the St. Lawrence River, Lake Champlain, Oneida Lake, Cayuga Lake and Chautauqua Lake. However, let’s not forget about some of the other species and other bodies of water that this state possesses.

Lake Ontario has one of the finest freshwater fisheries for salmon and trout. Lake Erie walleye tops an impressive list of walleye lakes that also includes Oneida and Chautauqua. The Niagara and the Oswego rivers are good walleye fisheries, and let’s not forget Lake Ontario’s Black River Bay and Henderson Harbor. The entire state has a rich history of fly fishing for trout, starting with the mesmerizing Catskills and the picturesque Adirondacks. We could go on and on, species by species.

By the same token, we need to ensure that these fisheries will be around for many years to come. We need to ensure that our hatcheries are running efficiently, as well as disease-free. Enforcing the fish and game laws are critical to the protection of these resources, and when violators are caught, they should receive the appropriate penalties. We need to treat New York’s waters with the respect that they deserve.

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