Syracuse: Olcott sport fishing has a lot to brag about
by Christian W. Peck
Public Information Officer
Niagara County Public Information Office
One Niagara County lawmaker has upped the ante in efforts to have Olcott Beach named America's "Ultimate Fishing Town," launching a video that highlights the caliber of fishing off the popular summer destination.
The video, which invokes images from the movie "Jaws," clocks in at just under two and a half minutes, and features video shot by Legislator John Syracuse and an entourage as they reeled in one hefty salmon after another from the cold, deep waters off Olcott earlier this month.
The video comes in response to the World Fishing Network's online contest to name America's Ultimate Fishing Town, which has drawn a devoted effort locally and on the popular Facebook site. Olcott is currently in second place in the contest, which includes a $25,000 cash prize for the winning community.
The winning town will also be featured in a World Fishing Network television program.
"There is money at stake - a $25,000 reward for the community that comes in first place," Syracuse told his fellow lawmakers on unveiling the video at Tuesday night's meeting of the Niagara County Legislature. "But more than that, there's bragging rights."
"And as everyone who has ever fished Olcott knows, they've got a lot to brag about," Syracuse added.
Indeed. On Syracuse's foray with charter captain Bob Cinelli - who was seeking to drum up support for the online contest and Lake Ontario fishing derbies - nine salmon, ranging in weight from 14 to 23 pounds, were hauled aboard.
"Sport fishing is one of our most important industries for our lakeshore communities," Syracuse told fellow lawmakers. "A Cornell University study in 2007 found that sport fishing off Lake Ontario's New York state counties brings in $54 million annually. And that impacts our ports of Wilson and Olcott directly."
Olcott has a strong shot at winning. At the time this press release was disseminated, Olcott is running slightly behind Waddington, N.Y., on the St. Lawrence River, by a 30,259 to 25,445 vote margin. However, both communities are far ahead of No. 3 community Cape Hatteras, N.C., which only had 9,135 votes at the time of writing.
Syracuse, who coordinated shooting and editing the video with the Niagara County Public Information Office, said the video could be viewed directly at www.voteolcott.com. That site redirects to the video and a link to voting at World Fishing Network's website.
Individuals can also visit www.worldfishingnetwork.com directly and follow the voting links to help put Olcott over the top. They can vote up to four times per day for their favorite fishing town.
"A lot of folks in our community are really working to make this a reality," Syracuse said after unveiling his video. "I'm proud to have had the opportunity to join ranks with them."