OTSELIC – The Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association (OVF&HA) is proud to announce that on Saturday, May 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m, the small rural community of South Otselic will host the fourth annual Fishing Heritage Day. Home to one of New York State’s twelve fish hatcheries, and the former B. F. Gladding Co., the scenic Otselic River flows through this northwestern Chenango County hamlet and its surrounding communities, farms and woodlands. The nonprofit OVF&HA has been planning the Fishing Heritage Day in South Otselic over the course of the past year.
The hamlet has a long history related to the sport of fishing. It has been home to the South Otselic Fish Cultural Center for 80 years, where Tiger Muskie and Walleye are now raised and then released into New York State rivers and lakes. The former B. F. Gladding Company, was first established in 1816 within two miles of South Otselic, before moving three years later into the hamlet, adjacent to the river. Gladding employed some 200 people during its heyday, and grew to become the largest, and eventually, the oldest fishing line manufacturer in the world. The angling community considered Gladding’s to be one of the highest quality lines available, and earned South Otselic the reputation as “the fishing line capital of the world.”
Building upon the past three years, OVF&HA Board Chairman Carl Johnson noted that “This year’s Fishing Heritage Day will continue the annual celebration of South Otselic’s historical past as home to a major fishing line industry, and the State fish hatchery, while recognizing the Otselic River as an important natural resource. Once again, we are fortunate to receive major assistance from the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the Chenango Valley and Oneonta Chapters of Trout Unlimited (TU). Special thanks also go to our many sponsors from throughout the river valley, as well as our corporate sponsors at Gladding Braided Products, LLC and NBT Bank. As in past years’ events, we are looking forward to hosting an enjoyable, educational and memorable tradition for local as well as visiting families who attend“, added Reverend Johnson.
To kick things off on Friday evening, before the Saturday event, the Georgetown Fire Department will host a fish dinner at their fire hall beginning at 5 pm with the proceeds to benefit the Department. Beginning Saturday morning at 9 am the South Otselic Fish Cultural Station will open with an aquarium display, along with several exhibits and information featured, including The Finger Lakes Trail, The Sierra Club, Friends of Rogers Environmental Education Center and the Federation of Fly Fishermen, among others. Tours will be conducted of the state fish hatchery’s operation and history at 10 am and 2 pm. The popular fishing clinics will be held once again at one of the ponds across the highway, conducted jointly by DEC staff and TU volunteers, to offer beginning anglers an opportunity to catch fish while learning about proper techniques, tackle, species of fish, and casting. Fishing equipment and bait will be provided for those wishing to participate in these free trout fishing clinics. The Chenango County Sheriff’s Department will also be on hand to show off their K-9 unit and to conduct their free child safety ID program.
Nearby at the Town Park, artisans, crafters and others will exhibit and sell their created work. Peter Thompson, author of Freshwater Game Fish of North America: An Illustrated Guide, will sell signed copies of his book, while Albert Daher, Jr. will demonstrate fly tying. The fourth new U.S. Postal stamp cancellation will make its debut and be available for sale, and Binghamton’s Ross Park Zoo Mobile will exhibit live animals in front of the Town Hall. For a complete list of vendors, visit the website at HYPERLINK “www.ovfish.org/”www.ovfish.org. Local musicians will perform, compliments of a grant received from the New York State Council on the Arts and administered by the Chenango County Council of the Arts, with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NYS Legislature. Guitarist Tom Rasely of McDonough will begin at 10 am, and in the afternoon, a group of area musicians, known as “Out of the Woodwork,” will perform. Nearby, Gladding Braided Products, Inc. will again host a special rope braiding demonstration, and offer a selection of their manufactured rope products for sale.
In addition to the Fishing Heritage event, many community residents will participate in the Otselic Valley Grange’s annual community garage sale day. The Grange will also offer their special beef barbecue luncheon, starting at 11am at the Grange Hall, just a short walk from the Town Park. Other food sales by nonprofit organizations will be available in the Town Park, as well as at The Daily Grind and the South Otselic Store.
Prize drawings for sport fishing items will be held for participants at the fishing clinic pond following the morning and afternoon sessions. Special prize drawings for new members joining the Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association, will also be held toward the end of the day in the Town Park.
Admission to all activities is free, and free parking is available at the hatchery, at the Baptist Church, Gladding, at the Otselic Valley Central School and elsewhere throughout the hamlet. A free day-long bus shuttle will again be provided by the Otselic Valley Central School to transport visitors between the Town Park and the fish hatchery.
Whether or not fishing is the primary interest, all are welcome and encouraged to attend the fourth annual Fishing Heritage Day, rain or shine, if for no other reason than to spend an enjoyable day with family and friends in the historic community of South Otselic, part of the scenic Otselic River valley.
For more information, including a schedule of activities, visit the Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association’s website at www.ovfish.org.