Thousands of acres of protected land could boost business in Oswego County

This is the largest land acquisition in the region in almost half a century

Oswego County, NY (WSYR-TV) - As summer begins, fisherman will spend more than a million hours on the Salmon River this year. It's a big money-maker for local businesses. Now New York state has acquired more than 6,000 acres of land near the river.

The Salmon River stretches nineteen miles from the reservoir to Lake Ontario.

But the river also serves a purpose; it helps stock Lake Ontario and its tributaries as well as the state's section of Lake Erie.

"The salmon river itself because of its high water quality is able to naturally reproduce a number of the species that we also stock into the lake," Francis Verdoliva, Special Assistant to the Commissioner for the Salmon River.

With more than 100,000 anglers drawn to its shore each year, access could be expanded soon. The state has acquired more than 6,000 acres of protected land in Oswego County. Part of the land surrounds the banks of the Salmon River.

"If they're bought in the private sector, the public loses access to them, the properties become posted, and people don't have the access to that resource. we want people to have access because that's how you get stewardship," said Verdoliva.

The other part of the land is just to the north of Salmon River reservoir called the Kendall Property. It's a large wooded area that connects state forests.

"It's a win for everybody, there will be stable forestry that can still take place on these properties, but it also opens up to recreational aspects of hunting, fishing, snow shoeing in the winter," said Verdoliva.

Hoping to give hikers, hunters and anglers more reasons to choose Oswego County.

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