OSWEGO – State Senator Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $150,000 in special funding to help boost tourism by promoting fishing tournaments throughout Jefferson, Oswego and St. Lawrence counties.
Funding secured by Senator Ritchie will support more than a dozen tournaments throughout the region she represents.
Included in the total funding is $20,000 for the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River, which will take place this week in Waddington.
“Whether you’re a competitive angler or someone who likes to fish for fun, there’s no disputing that fishing is a big part of our way of life here in Central and Northern New York,” said Senator Ritchie. “And, it’s more than just an enjoyable sport. Fishing provides a major boost to our local economy, helping to support small businesses and create jobs here locally. I’m pleased to be able to deliver this funding, which will help to promote our local fishing tourneys and encourage more people, both locally and from out of the area, to take advantage of all our region has to offer.”
Local leaders are applauding Senator Ritchie’s effort to help boost the region’s fishing and tourism industries:
“Oswego County is a year-round international fishing destination,” said Janet Clerkin, Oswego County Tourism and Public Information Coordinator. “Hotels and restaurants, charter captains and river guides, campgrounds, marinas, bait and tackle shops and many other businesses rely on our visitors and are essential to the local economy. We’d like to thank Senator Ritchie for this funding, which will help us boost our economy by attracting even more people to Central New York. We greatly appreciate her efforts.”
“This year, we are thrilled to once again welcome some of the nation’s top anglers to Waddington for the Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite at the St. Lawrence River tournament,” said Waddington Mayor Janet Otto Cassada. “Thanks to these large scale tournaments, more and more people are learning just how awesome the St. Lawrence River is for fishing and other sports. We couldn’t be more grateful for funding secured by Senator Ritchie, which will help us spread the message that the North Country is the place to be when it comes to outdoor recreation.”
“Last year marked the first year for the ‘Fishing for Freedom Thousand Islands Bass Tournament,’ an event that helps raise funds to support Carthage Area Hospital and the USO Fort Drum, as well as pays tribute to our active duty military,” said Carthage Area Hospital CEO Rich Duvall. “Funding secured by Senator Ritchie will not only help to make our tournament more successful, it will also help us to thank our local military for the work they do to protect our freedom.”
Municipalities and organizations receiving funding for fishing tournaments include the following:
Oswego County Tourism: $20,000
Town of Sandy Creek: $10,000
Town of Clayton: $15,000
Town of Lyme: $10,000
Town of Cape Vincent: $10,000
Town of Henderson: $10,000
Fishing for Freedom Thousand Islands Bass Tournament: $15,000
St. Lawrence County
Town of Oswegatchie: $7,500
City of Ogdensburg: $15,000
St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club: $5,000
St. Lawrence River Walleye Association: $10,000
Northern New York Junior Bassmasters: $2,500
Village of Waddington: $20,000
An angler herself, Senator Ritchie has been a strong supporter in recent years of New York State’s $1.8 billion fishing industry.
Last year, she was successful in securing $150,000 for tournaments throughout the region she represents.