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Thank you for attending our May 2023 Event

Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association Announces a Special Program Series on the River Valley

In 2008, the Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association (OVF&HA) was formed by a group of local citizens who were interested in celebrating the Otselic River with an emphasis on the fishery, the riparian environment, and the history and culture of the folks who live along the river. Since its inception, OVF&HA has held fourteen Fishing & Heritage Day events on the third Saturday in May in the village of South Otselic.

This year, it was decided to expand the organization's reach, in accordance with its mission, to include communities along the fifty-four mile route of the Otselic River. This fall the OVF&HA will be sponsoring a three-part literacy-based program entitled “The Circle of Reciprocity: Our Gift—the Otselic River.”

Host, Michael Foor-Pessin, English teacher at Morrisville State College will engage participants in a discussion of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s “Braiding Sweet Grass” and Lynda Rutledge’s “West with Giraffes.” Along with our analysis of the books, a variety of presenters from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Finger Lakes Prism, the supervisor of the Town of Georgetown, and Jessica Farmer from the Oneida Nation will address the ecology of the Otselic River from its headwaters in a fen in the Town of Nelson to its joining with the Tioughnioga River at the Whitney Point Reservoir.

The purpose of this Follett Foundation-sponsored grant program is to generate community-wide discussion with citizens from the nine communities that lie along the Otselic River about our stewardship of, and our responsibility to, our greatest natural resource. One of the areas of discussion will be a discussion of controlling invasive plants, especially Japanese Knotweed, that affect the riparian areas of the Otselic River. Informational materials will be available for participants on both terrestrial and riparian invasive plants. Plans are also in the works to develop and offer a program later for the seven Highway Superintendents along the river whose crews often encounter these invasive plants. Education is key to effective stewardship of the Otselic River.

Fifty copies of each book will be provided free of charge on a first come, first served basis. All three sessions will be held at the South Otselic United Methodist Church at 7:00 pm. The first session will be September 9; the second, October 7; and the third, November 4. Please note: reading the books and participating in the literacy part of the program is not required, especially if your interest lies more in the area of environmental/conservation specific to the Otselic River.

Event Information

Fifty copies of each book will be provided free of charge on a first come, first served basis. Reading the books and participating in the literacy part of the program is not required, especially if your interest lies more in the area of environmental/ conservation specific to the Otselic River.


Michael Foor-Pessin

Event Dates

Saturday, September 9th 2023

Saturday, October 7th 2023

Saturday, November 4th 2023

Event Time

Starts at 7pm

Event Location

South Otselic United Methodist Church, South Otselic, NY


Years Established

About Otselic Valley

Celebrating our Rural Nature, Culture & History

The Otselic Valley is home to scenic trails, ponds and Otselic River fishing spots which locals treasure for their beauty and history. Browse our site to discover all the hidden gems that make our valley unique and valued.

  • Local towns are named after a river flowing through it, the Otselic, which is an Oneida word for "place of wild plums".
  • The hatchery rears pond-reared walleye fingerlings, and rears small lots of wild, heritage-strain and Temiscamie brook trout. Annual production is 15,000 pounds of fish. Brook trout are stocked with fix wing airplane (bush pilots) as well as helicopters in the Adirondacks.
  • Over 10 square miles (26 km2) or about 7,000 acres (2,800 ha) are state-owned forest lands open to the public for forest-related recreation such as hunting, bird-watching, camping, fishing, hiking and cross country skiing.

In Memoriam of Gary Sweet

1949 to 2021

The Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association (OVF&HA) lost one of its founding members in August 2021. Gary Sweet was an avid fly fisherman and past president of the Chenango County chapter of Trout Unlimited. He was a Board member of the Otselic Valley Fishing & Heritage Association and served as its Vice President for several years. He participated in the annual Fishing & Heritage Day, where he taught and demonstrated fly tying and fly casting. Gary also shared those fly fishing skills during several Boy Scout jamborees and events. He was a member of the Chenango County Grange and was NYS’s coordinator of the fish stocking program for Chenango County. The members of the OVF&HA are grateful for his contributions to the organization, his willingness to do whatever was necessary and with his own unique sense of humor.

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