Fishing Heritage Day 2009
Prior to the formation of OVF&HA, a group of local Town of Otselic residents got together to plan the first Fishing Heritage Day, which was held on Saturday, May 16, 2009 in the hamlet of South Otselic. After four months of planning, and with the cooperative efforts of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) South Otselic Fish Cultural Station and the Cortland office of the DEC, the Chenango Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited (TU), and area organizations and businesses, a highly successful event took place.
In addition to exhibits in the fish hatchery, the employees conducted tours of the facility and grounds, while the Cortland office employees and TU volunteers conducted a series of fishing clinics for students of all ages. The day before the event, the DEC stocked the nearby Otselic River with Brown trout, as well as one of the ponds for use by the clinic participants. Area sporting stores donated fishing related prizes to clinic participants, and the local Gladding Braided Products company (formerly the world renowned Gladding Fishing Line Company) donated samples of their rope, while demonstrating one of their braiders using a “hit ‘n miss” engine. Directly across the street from Gladding, in the Town Park, numerous vendors displayed and sold crafts, artwork and antiques, while three local organizations sold food and beverages. There was also a live performance by one of South Otselic’s own musicians.
On the same day as the fishing heritage event, the Otselic Valley Grange held their annual Garage Sale Day throughout the community and offered their usual beef barbecue luncheon. Fortunately, the weather held, despite the threat of rain nearly all day.
By day’s end, estimates of the fishing clinic participants climbed to around 250, while the overall event attracted crowds estimated upwards of 3,000.