N.Y. results of Great Lakes survey released

SYRACUSE, OSWEGO, N.Y. – New York Sea Grant has published the New York results of a Great Lakes charter fishing industry survey, the group said in a recent release.

Of eight Great Lakes states, New York charter businesses showed the highest average income per business ($22,907); and the state was third in overall estimated total sales with $7 million, according to the NYSG.

To attract traditional angling charter reservations, the report suggests emphasizing the higher than average catch rates and “a world class Great Lakes angling experience.”

“We also suggest targeting nontraditional markets, such as women and minorities, to increase the number of trips booked per year,” said the report’s co-author Diane Kuehn, an assistant professor with the College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse. “Marketing diving, sightseeing, or other special charters may also help increase revenues.”

Of the 305 charter captains licensed in New York state in 2002 (a decrease of 24 percent from the number of captains estimated in 1994), 143 returned surveys.

Their responses showed:
– The typical captain has been licensed for 15.4 years.
– For 24 percent of respondents, charter fishing is a primary income.
– 81 percent of respondents operate a single-boat business.
– The average charter boat is 26.7-feet long and 15-years-old.
– 100 percent of respondents licensed to carry no more than six passengers.
– 48 percent of respondents provide lodging and food.
– Most operations averaged 50 full day and 11.1 half-day trips in 2002.
– Average annual operating costs are $11,093; average annual revenues are $22,907.
– Word of mouth is the most effective advertising method.

New York Sea Grant is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs created to combine university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs.

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