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How to spend $25K to boost fishery?

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 August 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – A committee weighing how to spend $25,000 to boost the fishing industry in Orleans County is considering putting the title of “Ultimate Fishing Town” on the Carlton town signs, including this one on Route 98.

CARLTON – When the Point Breeze community won the title of “Ultimate Fishing Town” in June, after two months of online voting, the prize brought lots of free publicity for the community. And it also netted cash to promote the fishery, $25,000 from the World Fishing Network.

The check is in a town of Carlton account, dedicated to promoting the area’s fishing resources. The question for a committee of fishing stakeholders is how to best use that money to entice more anglers and visitors to the community.

The committee met for the first time on Thursday. It wants plenty of signage in Carlton and Point Breeze, noting the community won the “Ultimate Fishing Town” in 2013. Some of those signs could be part of the existing Town of Carlton welcome signs on Route 98 and 18.

In the meantime, at least five businesses are working to buy banners that would be on their stores, noting Point Breeze as the “Ultimate Fishing Town.”

The committee also is considering a sportsfishing event that would partner with a veterans organization and a professional sports team. Veterans would be invited on a charter boat in that initiative.

Sharon Narburgh, owner of Narby’s Superette and Tackle, is on the committee and welcomes ideas from the public. She spoke during Sunday’s awards celebration for the Orleans County Fishing Derby. There were 100 fishermen at the awards party, and Narburgh asked them to submit ideas for promoting the fishery.

I think the committee should use some of the money for a public art project, perhaps having some giant fiberglass fish at different locations at Point Breeze. I think they would be an attraction, and businesses would probably pay to have one on their property.

If we could get 10 of these at Point Breeze, as well as a few in Albion, Holley and Medina, we would have an added attraction that would complement all the salmon and trout.

I was in Olean in March and noticed all of the 4-foot-high fiberglass squirrels sprinkled around the city. I’ve included a picture of “Pop ARThur” from Olean’s public art project called Woodland in the City. I think a similar project in a fish theme would be a major catch for Point Breeze.