Start spreadin’ the news: New York state fishing is as good as it gets
New York state’s fishing opportunities are, when you think about it, second to none in the United States.
Think about it. Two Great Lakes. The Finger Lakes. The birthplace of fly-fishing. The St. Lawrence River. Black Lake. The famed Salmon River, as well as Oak Orchard Creek and numerous other Great Lakes tributaries. Lake Champlain. The Delaware and Hudson rivers.
So it was no surprise to Empire State anglers that a recent survey showed that fishing in this state is more than just a popular sport – it’s an economy engine that pours millions of dollars into New York and creates and maintains nearly 11,000 jobs.
Those numbers are the product of a 2018 survey of about 11,000 freshwater anglers who took to the water in 2017. And the numbers are staggering and underscore just how big fishing is in New York state, and how good we anglers have it.
Combined direct, indirect and “induced” economic impacts of freshwater fishing totaled an estimated $2.14 billion and supported 10,961 jobs in 2017. And out-of-state anglers who flocked to New York waters were responsible for $564 million (26 percent) of that. Freshwater anglers spent an estimated $252 million at New York fishing destinations in 2017, and an additional $204 million was spent at home or while traveling to fishing destinations. Purchases of fishing equipment and fishing-related equipment such as boats, motors, etc., generated an estimated $1.8 billion in additional expenditures.
And keep in mind, the survey didn’t include New York’s abundant saltwater fishing opportunities, from Long Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean to the various bays and hotspots like Montauk, Shinnecock and more. Those opportunities are another reason New York is separated from the pack when it comes to statewide fishing opportunities. Think about it: Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, but you want catch any stripers or blues out there. And Montana is a fly-fisherman’s dream, but good luck landing a shark or false albacore.
Sadly, the state doesn’t do nearly enough to market the fishing possibilities. Watch the various outdoor channels and you’ll see spots for Michigan, Ontario, Kansas hunting and other destinations. New York state, with the marketing genius of Madison Avenue in New York City right down the road, falls well short of touting its fishing opportunities.
But the numbers don’t lie, nor do the photos of smiling anglers that pour into New York Outdoors News virtually all year around. When it comes to fishing, it doesn’t get any better than New York state.