The world of hunting and fishing has an estimated impact of $1.5 billion on New York State's economy. But over the past few years, a small section of water in Northern New York has become not only frustrating for fisherman, but dangerous as well. It's something that could finally be resolved by Wednesday. Our Brian Dwyer explains.
HENDERSON HARBOR, N.Y. -- It's a small passageway in Henderson Harbor. Hundreds of boaters a month would love to use it.
The "cut" is basically a shortcut from Henderson to Lake Ontario, saving boaters a four mile trip around Association Island and Six Town Point. But over the years, sediment has built up so much, many boaters have been forced to make the long trip.
"It was nothing more than a little more than the width of a boat," Fred Kucik of the Lake Ontario Fisheries Coalition said. "A lot of people were hitting it last year and the last few years. You can imagine the cost of a prop or lower unit."
But thanks to a $60,000 state grant and $10,000 of the Coalition's money, work has begun to fix the problem. Rocks are being moved out of the way adding width and depth to the "cut." It's making boaters very happy.
"With the price of gas today being $4.85 at the marina, you're knocking four miles off your trip," Kucik said. "That's a hell of a lot of gas."
"I think it was a win-win for everyone that we were able to get this going and it'll be completed by the end of the week," State Senator Patty Ritchie, who helped secure the money and rights to dredge the water, said.
And part of that win-win is safety. The extra time that some rescue crews can save could mean the difference in life and death.
"In some days when the weather is really nasty, a storm as you might guess comes, you could get out here a heck of a lot quicker and possibly save some kind of tragedy," Kucik said.
All good things for those hundreds of boaters a month that'll now be able to pass through.
The money will also be used to extend the pier at the "cut" an extra 40 feet. That work will be done this fall.