Buffalo, NY (WBEN) It feels like winter once again instead of springtime in Western New York this Tuesday, and ice remains on Lake Erie. But one charter fisherman warns if the ice doesn't go away, so will dollars from charter fishing excursions.
"The economic impact on the charter fishing industry starting May 3rd will be about $38,000 per day for the fleet that goes out to fish for small mouth bass in the early bass season," says Jim Hanley. "That includes charter fishing rates, motel room canceled, meals, gasoline, bait and tackle. The longer the (Ice Boom) stays in, the worse it will get."
Hanley says the Ice Boom that protects the power intake and Grand Island ends up hurting residents south of Buffalo. "People who live along the southtowns can't put out docks and temperatures are colder here. That keeps the ice on the lake and boats can't get out and most of the fishing takes place along the Small Boat Harbor," explains Hanley, who adds he and others are stuck on dry land until the ice breaks up.
Hanley says the Army Corps of Engineers and New York Power Authority could help matters. "They could compromise and take the boom out in segments, the ice would be out pretty quick," claims Hanley. "The Power Authority says they don't take it out until 250 square miles but I know many years they've taken it out with much less."
Hanley says the season begins May 3rd, and if charter fishing trips have to be canceled because of the ice, it's likely those fishermen cannot reschedule.