County renews lease for fishing access for next 5 years

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 April 2015 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – A fisherman is pictured last October in the Oak Orchard River.

CARLTON – The Orleans County Legislature has secured public fishing access for the next five years along about 4,000 feet of the Oak Orchard River, including at some of the most desirable fishing spots.

The Legislature last week voted to renew a lease with Roy Salmon and his son Scott Salmon for 15.8 acres of their property. The Salmons will be paid $12,000 annually or $60,000 over five years.

The agreement runs from Aug. 22, 2015 to Aug. 21, 2020.

The county first entered into an agreement with the Salmons in August 2007. That first agreement was $7,500 annually over three years.

The county in 2007 pushed to reach a deal with the Salmons for public access after the family put about 50 posted signs along their property.

Fishing is the county’s top tourism attraction, generating about $12 million in economic activity in Orleans.

The Oak Orchard is a popular draw, especially in the fall during the annual salmon and trout runs with many anglers coming from around the state and country to fish in the river.

In addition to public fishing access, the agreement allows the Salmon property to keep its vegetative cover to protect water quality and riparian habitat, and to also be available for fishery and habitat management, research and educational programs.

The county has signs on the Salmon property, urging anglers to respect the land, by taking out trash and fish carcasses.