New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spent nearly two hours fishing on Lake Ontario off Oswego on Thursday to help jump-start a new state tourism push aimed at helping flooded communities.
Cuomo and Attorney General Tish James returned with two king (Chinook) salmon that they caught on a fishing charter boat named “Instedda Wurkin.”
The governor said he wants to promote tourism in New York communities like Oswego that were hurt by record water levels and flooding this spring and early summer along the shores of Lake Ontario.
To help spur more tourism in the region, Cuomo said the state will:
- Immediately waive the New York state fishing license fee on Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River and Lower Niagara River through Labor Day.
- Cut the admission price at 20 state parks in the region by 50 percent for the remainder of the season.
- Cut camping fees at state parks in the Lake Ontario region by 50 percent for the remainder of the season.
- Invest an additional $5 million in the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. The hatchery stocks salmon in the lake, helping fuel tourism along the Salmon River in Oswego County.
- Expand the state’s “I Love New York” TV ad campaign with a new commercial focusing on Lake Ontario. Cuomo said the prime market for the ads will be Canada.
About 200,000 U.S. and international visitors already come to fish along the Salmon River each year. Cuomo, noting that 50 million tourists visit New York City each year, said the state will encourage more of those visitors to extend their stay by checking out Lake Ontario.
“You can see New York City but that’s only half the story,” Cuomo said. “Lake Ontario is a masterpiece. We get people internationally who come to fish at Lake Ontario.”
James, who was elected attorney general in November, said she is among those familiar with the tourism potential for the city of Oswego and communities along Lake Ontario. She said her brother lives in Oswego.
The attorney general also displayed some expert fishing skills on Thursday, Cuomo said.
“She is a monster fisherperson,” Cuomo said. “You have not seen anything until you see her versus a king salmon on the line. That king salmon had no chance.”
How a CNY mother, daughter made the cover of the DEC fishing guide
“The picture stands for something I’m passionate about and that my whole family is passionate about,” the daughter said.
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