By PAUL CYBART
About a week or so ago, there was a commentary "Lake is untapped resource for area" (July 27) about the impact that fishing has on the local area and the need to promote it.
Prior to a job change some 23 years ago, I promoted the fishing opportunities in the New York waters of Lake Erie, especially that in Chautauqua County. At this time I wore many hats, one of which was writing the fishing column "Piscatorially Speaking" which appeared in the then Evening OBSERVER from 1984 through 1989. In addition to this, I also managed a marina and tackle shop, ran a fishing charter service out of Dunkirk, served as a member of the Dunkirk Harbor Commission, wrote articles for magazines, filmed an outdoor show that was shown on cable TV, was intramental in bringing one of the first major fishing derbies to the area, contributed to fishing related books written by others, brought attention to this fishery in a Mother Earth Magazine article written by Jack Hope and was appointed as a member of the initial Chautauqua County Fishing Advisory Board.
Richard Snyder Jr., Dan Salansky and Gene Strianese, who were winners of the annual Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Derby last week.
Back then and still now, the promoters of fishing the Ohio waters of Lake Erie designated that those waters were the Walleye Capitol of the World. After thinking about that statement, I began to think about something similar for our waters of Lake Erie.
Based on the results of the fishing tournaments that were being held, I came up with the idea of designating the Chautauqua County Waters of Lake Erie as "Lake Erie's Trophy Waters." I then brought this to the Chautauqua County Fishing Advisory Board, which supported that designation. The next step was to get the Chautauqua County Legislatures to make an official proclamation and then begin to use it in marketing the "fishing tourism" of Chautauqua County's Lake Erie Waters.
Believe it or not, this simple proclamation was debated about. The issue was again the North County versus the South County. New York's version of the Hatfields and the McCoys. The South chirped in and said they had Chautauqua Lake in our half of the county and would want to include our waters in it.
The resolution was changed to something like fish Chautauqua County Trophy Waters and it never flew due to Chautauqua Lake being included.
I do believe the North versus South feud still exists, but I believe that the proclamation I coined some 20- plus years ago is still valid, and should be used in promoting the Chautauqua County Waters of Lake Erie.
Paul Cybart is a Dunkirk resident.