New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today invited the public to visit the DEC Bureau of Fisheries' angler outreach programs at the upcoming Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo. The event runs from Feb. 15 to 18 at the Niagara Falls Conference and Event Center.
“Freshwater fishing in New York State is thriving and the Great Lakes region offers anglers some of the world's best fishing destinations,” Commissioner Seggos said. “DEC is proud to be part of the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo where anglers of all ages and experience levels can learn more about this region's incredible sportfishing opportunities.”
In addition to DEC’s annual informational booth open throughout the event, DEC will host its popular “Open House” program on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the Open House, expo attendees will have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with subject matter experts about a variety of the fisheries management topics, including:
Lake Ontario - open lake;
Lake Ontario tributaries including the Salmon River;
Lake Erie and tributaries;
Niagara River and St. Lawrence River;
Salmon River hatchery and fish stocking;
Anglers can also attend a seminar Friday afternoon to learn about the new genetic marking program that DEC is using to differentiate between wild and stocked Chinook salmon in Lake Ontario. DEC fisheries managers will participate in the evening Salmon School and Walleye School on Feb.16, giving attendees additional opportunities to interact with agency staff in an informal one-on-one setting.
In addition, the Expo includes a panel discussion with DEC and Lake Ontario Fish Advisory Panel members, during which anglers can ask questions about how DEC and this group of volunteers are collaborating to improve trout and salmon fishing on Lake Ontario. DEC staff are also supporting an interactive “Kids Fishing Clinic” on Sunday, Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to introduce future generations of anglers to the sport of fishing. Signup information and more about the fishing clinic is available online. For general event and ticket information, visit the Greater Niagara Fishing Expo's website.
Freshwater fishing in New York State is thriving and generates significant benefits to local economies. The National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation estimates that 2.2 million state residents (nearly 1.8 million) and nonresidents (nearly 500,000) age 16 and older fished in New York in 2022, accounting for 20.2 million fishing trips and 29 million days spent fishing. Overall, anglers in New York spent $7.8 billion in 2022 on trip-related expenses and equipment. Of the 2.2 million anglers, 77 percent freshwater fished, accounting for 65 percent of the total fishing trips and 72 percent of the total fishing days in New York.
The National Survey has been conducted since 1955 and is one of the oldest and most comprehensive continuing recreation surveys. The Survey collects information on the number of anglers, hunters, and wildlife watchers, how often they participate, and how much they spend on their activities in the United States.
Photo: 2023 Fishery Booth