NYS Canal Corporation Chris Megan, the host of “On the Water: Angling Adventures,” catches an brown trout in Oak Orchard in Orleans County.
The NBC Sports television show “On the Water: Angling Adventures” recently featured the New York State Canal Corporation’s Fall Fishing Program for the second year in a row.
Filmed last November, this “On the Water” episode features the fishing experience along Eighteen Mile Creek, Oak Orchard Creek, and Sandy Creek in Niagara, Orleans, and Monroe counties.
Canal Corporation Director of Marketing William Sweitzer, local anglers, and fishing guides joined host Chris Megan to fish along these tributaries. As seen during the episode, the higher flows successfully enticed more brown trout, steelhead, and king salmon populations to run farther up these streams, improving conditions for the fish and expanding opportunities for local and visiting anglers.
Dawn Borchert, director of Orleans County Tourism, said they helped facilitate the local people in the television show. Ron Bierstine, owner of Oak Orchard Tackle and Lodge, had a lot to do with coordinating the field people, Borchert said.
“It was a lot of outreach, which we helped them with, and coordinating with Niagara County,” she said.
Borchert said because “On the Water: Angling Adventures” is a national show, unless the visitors say they saw them on TV, they won’t know.
“When we do our own ad campaigns, our digital campaigns here, I’m able to track that a lot closer,” she explained. “I can say there has been an uptick, but to specifically say from that, it’s very hard.”
Borchert said Canal New York does pass along the show to Orleans County, and when they do their big fishing trade shows they are able to run the episode on a TV at their booth. She said that’s almost priceless because the people stop and watch.
As part of the New York Power Authority and Canal Corporation’s Reimagine the Canals initiative, the episode also highlighted the successful launch of the Access and Conservation Easement pilot program, which aims to improve public access and water quality along Western New York’s north flowing tributaries that receive water from the Erie Canal, enhancing angling opportunities provided by the fall fishing program.