Efforts to boost Lake Ontario tourism

Free fishing and discounted camping announced

August 01, 2019 - 10:40 pm
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Alb any, N.Y. (WBEN) - As properry owners along the Lake Ontario shoreline are reeling from the impact of high water levels, Governor Andrew Cuomo is launching a new campaign to boost tourism in the Lake Ontario region. The new initiative includes free fishing on Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Lower Niagara River through Labor Day as well as 50 percent off State campgrounds and vehicle entrance fees along the lake and river.

A new television ad airing in multiple neighboring states will promote this new campaign and activities in the region. The Governor also announced the state will provide over $5 million to modernize the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Oswego County.

"Lake Ontario and the assets we have in the upstate region are second to none - and while tourism is way up and it's a big economic generator, in the wake of the recent flooding in the area we have to get the word out about what we have here," Governor Cuomo said. "That's why we are launching a new campaign to promote tourism near Lake Ontario and our point is very simple: if you are looking for a fantastic, affordable and family friendly vacation - look north to Lake Ontario. We are also building back better and stronger so that we can withstand this new normal of flooding, and that's what the resiliency and economic development initiative is all about."

"In New York we take pride in the fact that Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River continue to be recognized as premier destinations for anglers, offering residents and visitors an abundance of recreational activities," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This new campaign will promote free fishing and camping discounts in the area, attracting even more people and boosting the tourism industry. The effort builds on our actions to create more resilient and stronger communities, ensuring they are protected and have the opportunity to grow now and in the future."

Governor Cuomo recently launched the REDI Commission, a multi-agency task force charged with developing a plan to harden infrastructure and increase resiliency along the shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, while strengthening the region's local economies. The REDI Commission includes up to $300 million in funding available for communities impacted by Lake Ontario flooding. This campaign will serve to remind visitors considering travel to New York State that Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River areas are open for business and filled with great opportunities available for weekend trips or extended vacations.

For the first time ever, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is waiving fishing licenses and license fees for fishing on Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River and Lower Niagara River starting Friday, August 2, 2019, through Labor Day, September 2, 2019 at 5 p.m. EST. During this time, all state rules and regulations regarding seasons, catch rates, and size limits still apply.

And to encourage visitors to explore New York's State Parks and Historic Sites, the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation is offering 50 percent off new campsite reservations and vehicle entrance fees at 30 state campgrounds, parks and boat launches along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River for visits through September. State Parks facilities included in the promotion are:

Lake Ontario: Chimney Bluffs, Fair Haven; Fort Niagara, Four Mile Creek; Golden Hill; Hamlin Beach; Lakeside Beach; Mexico Point boat launch, Oak Orchard, Sandy Island Beach, Selkirk Shores; Southwick Beach; Westcott Beach, Wilson-Tuscarora,

St. Lawrence River: Burnham Point; Canoe-Picnic Point; Cedar Island; Cedar Point; Coles Creek; Dewolf Point; Grass Point; Jacques Cartier; Keewaydin; Kring Point; Long Point; Mary Island; Robert Moses; Rock Island; Waterson Point, Wellesley Island. 

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