FASCINATING FISHALTMAR – A full day of children’s activities, fishing seminars and outdoor programs are planned for this year’s open house on National Hunting and Fishing Day, Saturday, Sept. 27, at the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Salmon River Fish Hatchery.

This is the thirteenth annual open house at the hatchery, located at 2133 county Route 22 in Altmar.  The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. There is no admission charge.

“This is the one opportunity during the year where the public is able to access the working parts of the hatchery with an up close and personal tour,” said Fran Verdoliva, Salmon River Program coordinator. “Visitors can watch migrating salmon, see an exhibit on rare and endangered fish, and learn about the many opportunities for fishing and outdoor recreation along the Salmon River.”

A special fly-fishing seminar with noted angler Rick Kustich will be held Friday evening, Sept. 26 in the hatchery auditorium. Kustich will be available for book signings at a social hour beginning at 6:30 p.m. and will share tips on fly-fishing for Great Lakes steelhead and salmon at 7:30 p.m. He is author of several articles and publications including “Salmon River, NY River Journal,” “Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead,” and “Fly Fishing Great Lakes Tributaries.” Space is limited to 75 people and pre-registration is required. Call 315-298-7605, e-mail outdoorssprtsman@aol.com, or stop by the hatchery and register at the lobby desk.

On Saturday, visitors can learn how to cast, tie flies, and fly fish. There are several activities for children, including the popular “Backyard Bass” and “Hook and Ladders” fishing programs. Members of the Oswego County 4-H Shooting Sports Program will teach youngsters about the heritage of hunting and kids will have a chance to practice on the “Laser Shot” game.

Tours of the hatchery will be given every 30 minutes starting at 10:30 a.m.

Along with the special presentations, many conservation organizations and agencies will provide exhibits and information about outdoor recreation and conservation in the Salmon River ecosystem.

Members of the Sea Grant Salmon River Stewards Program will conduct tours of the nearby Salmon River Falls. The 110-foot waterfall offers trails and viewing areas with spectacular scenery. A new trail stairway to the top of the falls was completed this summer. To register for a scheduled tour, e-mail mp357@cornell.edu or sign up at the hatchery open house at the Sea Grant table.

The Lake Ontario Steelhead Association (LOSA) will demonstrate float-rod fishing and fly fishing techniques in stream fishing workshops at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Class size is limited to 10 persons. To pre-register, call Verdoliva at 315-298-7605 or sign up at the desk in the hatchery lobby or at the LOSA table.

Also on Saturday, the Greater Pulaski Eastern Shore Chamber of Commerce will host an open house at the nearby International Sportfishing Museum. The museum features the former “South Bend Gladding collection” of fishing gear, artwork and literature about the history of the sportfishing industry. The museum is located in the Salmon River Visitor Center, 3044 state Route 13, about two miles west of the fish hatchery.

             For more information contact the Salmon River Hatchery at (315) 298-7605.

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Photo caption:

FASCINATING FISH – Children will be able to inspect and learn about a variety of creatures at the Sept. 27 open house at the Salmon River Fish Hatchery in Altmar. (Photo by Janet Clerkin, Oswego County Tourism.)