Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition Utilizes Funds Secured by Senator Ritchie
State Senator Patty Ritchie announced today that dredging has begun at what is commonly known as “the cut,” a small channel connecting Lake Ontario and Henderson Harbor.
Senator Ritchie was able to secure $60,000 in this year’s state budget to help cover the cost of the project.
“The hunting and fishing industries have a $1.5 billion dollar impact on our state’s economy,” said Senator Ritchie.
“By opening up this channel, we are not only ensuring that anglers are able to travel safely from Lake Ontario to Henderson Harbor, but we’re also investing in an industry that’s critically important to nearby communities. Whether it’s a charter captain who relies on fishing for work, or a family who considers fishing on Lake Ontario to be a tradition; this project will help to preserve the industry for generations to come.”
In recent years, sediment built up in the channel, making it difficult to navigate, and requiring boaters to take a miles-long detour into Lake Ontario at a significant added expense.
The Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition had been working to get the small channel dredged.
With fish spawning and the season just starting to pick up, it was critical that the project begin as soon as possible.
“The Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition greatly appreciates Senator Ritchie’s support,” said Fred Kucik, an official with the Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition who spearheaded the project.
“This dredging enables us to pass safely through the cut, save on gas, make it from the rough waters of Lake Ontario into the calm waters of Henderson Harbor more quickly, and get to the mainland in a timely manner in the event of a medical emergency.”
The work is being completed by the Jefferson County Highway Department.
“We are very pleased to once again assist in the dredging of the cut and we are grateful for the Senator’s assistance in seeing this to fruition. Any assistance we can lend to ensure safety and efficiency for our boating community is essential,” said Jefferson County Legislator Barry Ormsby.
Dredging also plays an important role in protecting the environment; as it ensures proper water flow from the outer waters into Henderson Harbor.
Senator Ritchie would also like to thank Dr. Nak Shim, the owner of Association Island, for allowing the Coalition to move forward with their plan to dredge the waterway.
Another part of the project—extending the pier near “the cut” about 40 feet—will begin in the fall.