Sport Fishing Industry Contributes Millions to Local Economy

A legislative Column by Assemblyman Will Barclay
The Oswego County Tourism Department recently held a free luncheon seminar at the Tailwater Lodge in Altmar titled the Tourism Ambassador Program.

The event highlighted some of the great assets that our area has to offer. At the end of the day, the 70 or so people who attended were considered Tourism Ambassadors.

Presenters talked about the new lighthouse renovation projects in Oswego and Pulaski and new accommodations, local trails and hiking in Winona State Forest, as well as efforts to market our area through advertising and social media, even in Oprah Magazine.

While many different attractions and efforts help draw visitors to this area, the sport fishing industry continues to contribute millions of dollars to our local economy and is viewed as an area that can make an even larger impact on our local economy.

Officials at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation estimate that the overall economic impact of sport fishing in Oswego County alone to be $42 million.

This includes purchases people make while visiting like gas, lodging, groceries, dining, boat rentals and supplies.

Overall, the economic impact of fresh water sport fishing in New York is $2.26 billion.

This shows that just on a state-wide basis there is potential to attract more tourists to our area.

Of the three counties that I represent in the Assembly, each recognize the potential for growth in sport fishing.

Onondaga County is home to many fishing tournaments, including a big carp tournament in Baldwinsville.

Leaders there have recently invested in a website dedicated to promoting sports fishing, similar to Oswego County’s website.

In 2007, the Department Environmental Conservation valued the economic impact of fishing to be $7.4 million in Onondaga County.

Leaders in Jefferson County too note the continued impact sport fishing has, especially along Lake Ontario shores and the Thousand Islands.

The economic impact is estimated to be $35.3 million in Jefferson County.

The tourism event last week focused on our assets and it was a good education on what the we have to offer.

Like any economic development, an increase in economic activity resulting from tourism will help stabilize property taxes.

For example, in Oswego County, studies show tourists help reduce the average property tax bill by $312 annually.  They also noted and encouraged people there to be friendly and just to say “hello” to people they meet, as we all help define our level of hospitality for each other and for visitors.

Central New York Public Fishing rights maps can be found here,

Here is a link to the Northern New York Public Fishing rights maps:

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.

My office can be reached by mail at 200 N. Second St., Fulton, NY 13069, by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling (315) 598-5185.