SOUTH OTSELIC – The South Otselic Community is planning an event to celebrate the town’s fishing heritage. On Saturday, May 16, the community will hold the first Fishing Heritage Day.
South Otselic has a long standing connection to the fishing community. The town has been home to the South Otselic Fish Culture Center for over 70 years. The former B.F. Gladding Company, established in 1816 just outside the village, employed some 200 people during its heyday, and eventually moved its manufacturing complex into South Otselic, next to the Otselic River. Over the years, Gladding grew to become the largest and oldest fishing line manufacturer in the world, turning out what many anglers considered to be the highest quality lines available, and earning South Otselic the reputation as “the fishing line capital of the world.”
With this historic tie to fishing, retired United Methodist minister Carl Johnson conceived the idea of an event that could highlight this heritage. “Since the fish hatchery has had a long standing presence in the community, and there’s such an established relationship between the Gladding fishing line company and the local residents, it seemed only natural to consider such an event to promote this history, and perhaps help stimulate the local and regional economy at the same time,” Johnson said. “With the help of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the Chenango Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited, the Otselic Valley Grange, and many local individuals, we think this event will provide an enjoyable experience for all ages. Of course, having the trout-stocked Otselic River literally flowing through the village as a traditional destination for anglers, doesn’t hurt either,” he added.