Cold water fishing and boating economic impacts under study

Delhi — The Delaware County Economic Development Agency and Friends of the Upper Delaware River are engaged in conducting a study of the economic impact of the cold-water fishery that now exists on the Delaware River’s upper sections, including the East and West branches.
The study has been underway for approximately two months and an on-line business survey is now being conducted to gather further information that will quantify those economic impacts, which are believed, based on preliminary research, to be in excess of $200 million.
The online business survey may be accessed at www.surveymonkey.com/s/FishingImpactSurvey.
This survey will provide area businesses ranging from fishing guide services to food markets and convenience stores with an opportunity to confidentially share information on the importance of the cold-water fishery and other related recreational activity on their businesses. The survey will also be available in hard copy from Delaware County Economic Development, which can be reached at 607 746-8595. Their office is located at 1 Courthouse Square, Suite 4, Delhi, NY 13753.
“The business survey is an important source of data to demonstrate that protecting and enhancing the cold water ecosystem of the Upper Delaware River through improved and consistent water releases from the NYC Delaware River basin reservoirs can generate significant economic gains for our region,” said Jeff Skelding, executive director of the Friends of the Upper Delaware River.
The survey and study are being conducted with the assistance of Shepstone Management Company and will address impacts for the region as a whole, including Broome, Delaware, Sullivan and Wayne counties.
Preliminary results indicate the combined present value of the fishing industry in the impacted area is at least $199.9 million with the potential to add as much as $66.6 million from a consistent water releases program that delivers a season-long cold water fishery. Delaware County Economic Development Director, Glenn Nealis, says, “We are confident the economic impacts are very large and answers to these questions will help illustrate this.”
The surveys are now available to complete and Nealis indicates the study will be finalized in January.