The governors and their matching steelhead trouts Screenshot from livestream

Gov. Ned Lamont interrupted a two-week vacation at his summer home in Maine on Tuesday to fly to Lockport, N.Y., for a morning of sport fishing and policy talks on Lake Ontario with Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York.

After their outing on the 31-foot charter boat “Instigator,” the two governors conducted a press conference live-streamed from a state park in Wilson, N.Y., talking broadly about joint policy interests — and showing off two steelhead trout, one caught by each governor.

“Not that we’re competitive, but the fish happened to be twins,” Cuomo said.

The governors said they talked about transportation, emergency services and each state’s struggle with the potential legalization of marijuana, but Lamont told Connecticut reporters in a conference call that agenda was more about establishing a relationship. 

“I met Gov. Cuomo once at a press conference. That’s not the way I like to get know people. I flew a long way to come out here and sit with him in a place where we can get to know each other,” Lamont said.

Lamont has been vacationing since Aug. 9 at his summer home on North Haven, an island in Penobscot Bay. Lamont, a wealthy businessman who is not taking a state salary, said he flew from Rockland, Maine to Lockport at his own expense.

One of his dinner guests while in Maine was the state’s new Democratic governor, Janet Mills.

Lamont previously hosted a meeting in Hartford with the governors of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. New York plays a major role in the economy of Connecticut, a state with a financial-services sector with significant ties to Wall Street.

Improving commuter rail service to New York is a major priority of Lamont’s.

“My state doesn’t survive unless we can speed up our transportation,” Lamont said.

“There are very few issues that we deal with today that are limited by our borders,” Cuomo said.

The states are planning joint emergency drills to improve coordination in emergencies.

“That makes good sense,” Cuomo said. “We do it now, but we can do it better.”

Cuomo presented Lamont with a gift of a fishing rod and tackle box and noted both governors were going home with a fish.

“We had fun. It was successful. We’re going to eat well tonight,” Cuomo said. Smiling, he added, “I am consider this a working day.”

Mark is the Capitol Bureau Chief and a co-founder of CT Mirror. He is a frequent contributor to WNPR, a former state politics writer for The Hartford Courant and Journal Inquirer, and contributor for The New York Times.

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