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Boat launch upgrade expected to fuel fishing hotspot on the St. Lawrence River

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 4:22 PM EDT
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MASSENA, New York (WWNY) - A $3 million expansion of the Massena Intake Boat Launch is expected to make a lot of things possible. It comes as professional fishing tournaments flock to the area.

“They have way more space. They have way more room for all the boats to be out here. It’s not as congested, so that way when you want to get onto the water you’re not waiting and waiting and waiting,” said Massena angler Billy Orlando.

There are four more boat ramps. Twenty-four more boat slips. Then, there’s a new pavilion and other improvements. It’s the most recent New York Power Authority recreation project on the river.

NYPA President and CEO Gil Quiniones said, “It was really timely that a lot of the implementation occurred during the pandemic. Our communities need this during this time.”

They cut the ribbon on the project Friday. But the facility already got a big-league tryout in June when a major pro bass fishing tournament launched from here.

“With all of the pro fisherman that have been coming up here like that. This opens up so many doors for Massena,” Orlando said.

On Thursday, 150 competitors will push off from here in a Major League Fishing pro bass tournament. It’s just one example of the economic development being generated by these projects.

There are still more NYPA projects to come. Waddington plans to use the same NYPA program to help build a marina.

“The stars are really aligned for the communities here and for more development to come,” Quiniones said.

A local government task force selects projects for NYPA funding. NYPA commits to the spending as part of its licensing agreement with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

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