Buffalo fishing charters may feel a bite from the air show

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Restrictions on launching and fishing areas during the air show come during Father’s Day weekend, traditionally one of the busiest of the year for charters.

BUFFALO, NY – “I think it’s wonderful to have an air show because Buffalo needs that kind of publicity and activity,” said Jim Hanley, a fishing charter veteran in the United States. western New York State. “But unfortunately this is a weekend where you are going to injure some people who will be limited in their normal daily operations.”

Hanley’s charter service was one of many expected to explode business on Father’s Day weekend, which is traditionally one of the busiest of the year for fishing guides of western New York.

However, the recent announcement that an air show originally planned at Niagara Falls had been moved to Buffalo on Father’s Day weekend, and restrictions placed on where boats can launch and where they can fish before and during the air show, caught them.

“You plan this weekend all year round and you have people booking a year in advance and now we have to cancel,” he said.

The State Parks Authority for Recreation and Historic Preservation, which operates Buffalo Harbor State Park, has decided to close its boat launches at dusk on June 17. They will only reopen after the air show on June 20.

“We use this ramp for a living so it’s really unfortunate,” said Hans Mann, who operates Buffalo Harbor Outfitters and also expected a busy Father’s Day weekend.

While some charter captains may try to launch from other ports to try and hold onto their Father’s Day reservations, this is not the most desirable option.

“Some may try to get out of Erie Basin Marina, but I can only imagine what it will be like with all the other boaters and charter captains trying to get started using this little marina,” said Hanley.

And, even if they did, they won’t be able to fish the best waters at this time of year, which are close to the outer harbor breaking walls, as these will be restricted due to the air show. .

“The tight areas they have are where the best fishing is this time of year,” Hanley said.

Getting a fishing charter doesn’t come cheap, and those who are willing to pay expect to catch a lot of fish and often do.

“We fish here because we know what’s going on here and we know where the fish are and that’s where we would like to stay,” Mann said.

In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for New York State Parks told 2 On Your Side:

“We fully recognize the ramifications of shutting down launches this weekend and have considered all possible alternatives. However, at the end of the day, parks must ensure the safety of all customers and take into account the traffic implications that will result from the air show hosted by our neighbors in the outer harbor.

The State Park Department will also charge $ 20 per car to enter Buffalo Harbor State Park during the air show (first come, first served) and with its launches closed, and without all the usual boats and trailers – which usually occupy double spaces – there will be an abundance of these spaces for $ 20.

“It’s an interesting way to look at it,” Mann said.

Provided they are departing from another marina other than Buffalo Harbor State Park, boaters will be allowed to view the air show from the water (and avoid the $ 149 fee for the main viewing area on the shore).

However, they will be limited on where they can be.

The map below, provided by the US Coast Guard, describes both the area reserved for ships to anchor and monitor (outlined in green) and the area just below where the aircraft is performing (delimited in red) will be prohibited to boaters.

The Coast Guard will have additional information on its Facebook page closer to the air show.


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