Waterhouse’s Orleans efforts earn a well-deserved retirement

Mike Waterhouse of Albion, a former Lake Ontario charter captain and the sportfishing promotion person for Orleans County Tourism for many years, has finally come to his senses and retired.

It’s been a long time coming for the 70-something workhorse who has long been an ambassador for the Lake Ontario sportfishery. It’s good that he can do this while he is still healthy and with us, enjoying life as it should be.

Waterhouse was the captain of Lure Um Charters for more than two decades, running his charter boat out of Point Breeze in Orleans County. Before he sold his boat, he became the fishing promotion expert with the tourism office. He served that position well for nearly a decade, lending his fishing knowledge to the tourism professionals that made up the Lake Ontario Sportfishing Promotion Council (LOSPC) along the way.

He was a man who jumped in with both feet when he committed himself to something. With the LOSPC group, he volunteered to handle the trade show committee and coordinated five or six shows for the group, handling the booth responsibilities, assigning the work schedule for volunteers and generally making sure that each show would be taken care of from top to bottom. His attention to detail was invaluable to the success of the trade show program for LOSPC, and moving forward he will be nearly impossible to replace. Yes, the group will still attend trade shows around the Northeast, but it will not be as efficient as it used to be.

Those weren’t the only shows he attended, either. He would also work shows for the Orleans County Tourism office in an effort to diversify the area’s sportfishing resources. He would hand-pick fly fishing shows that would serve as an outlet for the excellent tributary fishing that they offered in his county – starting with the famed Oak Orchard River. He would seek out new markets to promote the lake fishery. He did whatever it took to make his job responsibilities and Orleans County Tourism promotion a success, even though he was only classified as “part time” in the county’s workforce. Time after time he went above and beyond the call of duty.

Waterhouse was also responsible for raising the bar for some of the Lake Ontario fishing contests. He helped start up the Orleans County Pro-Am Tournament (now the Orleans County Open Tournament) and assisted with other events from Niagara to Oswego. He helped promote the Orleans County Rotary Derby and was an important component to the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey. He was also involved with the promotion (and success) of the Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) trout and salmon derbies each year. He was a guy who found it most difficult to say no if it involved the Lake Ontario fishery.

His final task with LOSPC was to complete the 2018 sport show season and pass everything on to the group. His final meeting was March 19 when he said his farewells to people who have become close friends. It was time to move on to the next phase of his life.

After losing his wife of many years, Yvonne, a few years ago, he rekindled a friendship with a special person (Darlene) whom he always held in high regard. They enjoyed spending time together the past six months and made the decision to tie the knot just recently. Waterhouse is selling his Albion house and the couple will be moving to the south, probably Kentucky – not far away from water, Kentucky Lake or Lake Barkley.

It’s not time to say goodbye. It’s time to say good luck … and thank you for all of your unselfish dedication to making Lake Ontario truly great. And because of you, more people know about how special this natural resource truly is.

Categories: Blog Content, New York – Bill Hilts Jr

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