By CAROLINE MURRAY
The Great Sacandaga Lake might be the site of a television show this summer.
Fulton County Tourism Director Gina DaBiere-Gibbs said a producer from the Outdoor Channel approached the county two weeks ago, and proposed filming one or two segments of the television show "Fishing University" at the lake this summer.
"The show has been around for 27 years; it is really popular on the Outdoor Channel," DaBiere-Gibbs said.
She said "Fishing University" is the second longest-running outdoor TV show. During the season, hosts Charlie Ingram and Ray Bazier fish in various areas throughout the country, and in the process, teach viewers how to fish.
"The viewership is 52 million, and everyone who gets the Outdoor Channel has to pay their provider to have it -- meaning it is a dedicated audience looking for places to go that offer great outdoor opportunities," DaBiere-Gibbs said.
She said the producers are also looking to film at Canada Lake in Caroga.
DaBiere-Gibbs said the national exposure is a great way for Fulton County to promote the area, but the show does not come free of charge.
She said to film one half-hour episode, it will cost the department $6,500 and additional hotel fees. Two episodes would total to a reduced rate of $12,000, plus hotel fees.
DaBiere-Gibbs said the department is currently trying to finalize funding, since the cost is not budgeted for this year.
She said the producers do not expect a check until next January. The department sent a request to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors asking to appropriate the cost into next year's budget.
Fulton County Administrator Jon Stead said the board passed a resolution Monday to commit up to $6,500 in the tourism fund for the 2015 budget.
Stead said the tourism department is seeking private sponsorships to make up for the rest of the cost. The Fulton-Mont-gomery Regional Chamber of Commerce will pay for the hotel fees.
"The county will sponsor one show, on one of the lakes," Stead said.
DaBiere-Gibbs said they already found two sponsors; Frank's Gun Shop, and Taylor Made Products, both of Gloversville.
The hosts of "Fishing University" will also conduct a meet and greet with the community.
"So, we would be organizing that, and getting the information out about that," she said.
The duo are also looking to star in a "Back to School" edition of the show, where they speak to a local high school students about the importance of higher education and starting a career in environmental studies.
DaBiere-Gibbs said the high school portion of the show would only be a 90-second clip, but take one hour to film.
She said local colleges with various programs in outdoor careers would be invited to join the production as well.
If all goes as planned, filming will start in August and the show will air six times throughout January and July of next year, DaBiere-Gibbs said.
Great Sacandaga Lake Fisheries Federation President Randy Gardinier said he hopes the national coverage illustrates that the lake's fishery is improving.
He said filming in late August or early September would be an ideal time because fish are starting to feed more before the winter season.
Gardinier admitted he had not watched the show religiously, but said the concept seems interesting.
"People like that are starting to take notice ... I think they would do well," he said.