Sen. Patty Ritchie has announced she has secured $70,000 in special funding to support fishing tournaments and boost tourism in St. Lawrence County.
Included in the funding $30,000 for the 2014 BASS Eastern Divisional Championship, which will take place in September in Waddington as well as $12,500 for the NYS BASS Masters tournament, which will be held in August in Ogdensburg.
“Our rivers, lakes and streams are phenomenal natural resources that not only offer world-class opportunities for fishing, they also attract tourists to our area, boosting our local economy and creating jobs,” Sen. Patricia Ritchie said in a released statement.
“I’m thrilled to be able to provide this funding to our local fishing tournaments in an effort to help them get the word out to anglers and raise awareness of the fantastic recreational opportunities our region possesses.”
Several local leaders praised Ritchie’s efforts to promote fishing and help raise awareness of our region’s waterways.
"Senator Ritchie's $30,000 grant will help us welcome back the Bassmasters Elite Tournaments to Waddington and help us market the St. Lawrence River as one of the best places for bass fishing in North America," Waddington Mayor Janet Otto Cassada said in a release from Ritchie’s office.
"Senator Ritchie’s grant will help Ogdensburg host the New York State Bass Tournament and put our community on the map as one of the premier fishing destinations in the nation," Ogdensburg Mayor William Nelson said in the release. "Promoting our waterfront will help us bring anglers and their families to our stores, our restaurants and our lodging establishments, helping us to create new jobs and revitalize our economy."
Sen. Ritchie’s announcement comes in advance of “Free Fishing Weekend,” an event that will take place from June 28-29 allowing New York residents and visitors fish for free without a license in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds or 50,000 miles of rivers and streams.
Tournaments receiving funding in St. Lawrence County include:
• City of Ogdensburg: NYS BASS Masters and NYS Junior Bass Masters: $12,500
• Village of Waddington: BASS Eastern Divisional Championship and BASSmasters Elite Tournament: $30,000
• St. Lawrence River Walleye Association: $5,000
• St. Lawrence Valley Sportsmen’s Club: $5,000
• Black Lake Ice Fishing Derby: $5,000
• Chippewa Bay Ice Fishing Derby: $2,500
• St. Lawrence County Chamber Carp Tournament: $10,000