Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 10, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon in the Trib’s Now
  • Lake Alice Bass Action Still Good
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney set for Oct. 18-20th

Today is Tuesday October 10, 2017.

This is the time of year that the crispness in the air and the changing of the leaves begs us to get outside and enjoy the wonders that Mother Nature is providing us with.

With the amount of rain we have received over the past several days, flows on all of the tributaries within Orleans County are at a slightly high level with a slightly stained water clarity.

Salmon are being reported in all our tributaries and the water flows are keeping them on the move and spread out.  Brown trout are starting to enter the tributaries.

When the weather cooperates, fish are still being taken in Lake Ontario especially in those close-to-shore waters.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” perch are starting to show up in some decent numbers from the County Marine Park to the bridges area.

The upper stretches of Lake Alice are still producing some nice bass, mostly smallmouth, while bluegill and crappie fishing has dropped off a bit.

The Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 18th, 19th and 20th this year which is always a great event.

Tomorrow will be the last day of operation for the Erie Canal System but will not signal the beginning of the dewatering procedure. There is work to be done on the canal so water will remain in the system for a while yet.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County/Lake Ontario Fishing Report – Oct. 3, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon Hitting Early Mornings and Evenings
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney Oct. 18-20th

Today is Tuesday October 3, 2017.

With temperatures warming back up again the migration of fish up our tributaries has slowed just a bit.

There are a good number of salmon at the Oak Orchard dam below Waterport Reservoir (Lake Alice) and at the Archer’s Club, but not as good as it is likely to get.  Reports have brown trout, steelhead/rainbow trout and even Atlantic salmon being caught in the deeper holes around the Archer’s Club area.  Late last week, a 13-pound brown trout was caught at the Archer’s Club.  Could this be the sign of things to come?

There are fish being taken at the jetties and from small boats right along the shoreline, but just in the early morning and late evening time periods.

The “Oak” is still producing perch, bass and an occasional pike.

The Erie Canal still has good water flow and good fishing, but will close to traffic on October 11th this year.  The good news is that Erie Canal dewatering will not take place until either late October or early November.  Then it will be a partial dewatering followed by a partial refilling to check the work being done.

The Archer’s Club Catch & Release Fly Fishing Derby will be held on October 18th, 19th and 20th this year, always a great event.

The water flow at the Archers Club is the very best that I’ve seen in many years, which should lead to some of the very best fishing seen in a long time.

From Lake Ontario, they are still doing well on trout and salmon in the 100 to150 feet of water range.

It just keeps getting better and better!

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017 Increases Penalties for Theft of Firearms

National Shooting Sports Foundation Photo

WASHINGTON, D.C., Sep. 26, 2017 — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) today is commending U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham’s (R-S.C.) introduction of S.1854, the Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act of 2017, which will strengthen the criminal penalties for thefts of firearms from retailers and impose mandatory minimum sentences.

“Thefts from federally licensed firearms retailers represent particularly brazen offenses that hold potential for additional crime when stolen guns are sold on the street,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “The Federal Firearms Licensee Protection Act is a significant reinforcement of our federal laws to help deter both first-time and repeat violators and to ensure those convicted of these crimes serve serious time. We thank Senator Graham for his leadership to help make America safer.” 

Sen. Graham’s proposed legislation would impose a minimum sentence for a successful conviction of not less than three years for burglary and five years for robbery.

The bill gained the support of Sens. John Boozman, (R-Ark.), Bill Cassidy (R-La.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Jim Risch, (R-Idaho) and Luther Strange (R-Ala.).

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has reported a 48 percent increase in the number of burglaries and a 175 percent in the number of robberies over the past five years. In 2016, about 7,758 firearms were stolen from Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) in burglaries and robberies.

The firearms industry through NSSF is an active partner in helping to reduce thefts and aiding ATF in identifying those involved in these crimes. As part of Operation Secure Store, NSSF helps educate FFLs on steps they can take to reduce theft. NSSF, in cooperation with ATF, also conducts retailer store security seminars, assists retailers with store security audits, and encourages the use of methods and technologies to reduce the likelihood firearms will be stolen. NSSF also continues to match ATF reward offers for information that leads to the arrest of criminals responsible for thefts from FFLs.

About NSSF

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org/.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 26, 2017

  • Trout/Salmon Moving from Trib’s Back to Lake
  • St. Mary’s Archers Club Tourney Oct. 18th-20th
  • ERIE CANAL SET TO CLOSE on Oct. 11

Today is Tuesday September 26, 2017.
Where have these summerlike temperatures been all summer?
Trout and salmon are moving back out into the lake from their near-shore haunts and lake fishing is fantastic right now.
Fishing in the 50 to 200 feet of water range is producing some great catches of a mixed bag of fish.
When this warm-up started a few salmon scooted to the dam on Oak Orchard but by far the majority went back to the lake.
This has been like a bonus season for those who still have their boats in the water and this is after an already bonus season.
The tributary fishermen will have to be patient just a little while longer, but not too much longer.
The weather forecast calls for a drastic cool down to more seasonal temperatures by the end of this week which should bring these confused fish back to shore to the delight of tributary fishermen young and old.
Don’t forget to register for the St. Mary’s Archers Club Catch and Release Fly Fishing Derby, set to take place October 18th, 19th and 20th this year. Great food, fantastic fishing and the chance to meet people from all over the states await you.
The “Oak” is producing a fair number of largemouth bass, pike, and perch.
On Lake Alice, these warmer temperatures have moved the fish to deeper waters for now, but that may be very short lived with the cool down close at hand.
The Erie Canal is scheduled to close on October 11th this year but it is my understanding that dewatering will not begin immediately.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – Sep. 4, 2017

  • Cool-down Has Lake Ontario Fish Moving
  • Point Breeze Pier Casters Getting Some Fish
  • Bass Fishing Still Good on Lake Alice & Erie Canal

Today is Tuesday, Sep. 12, 2017.

Ken Shaffer with a 12lb-10oz steelhead to put him in 5th place on the last full day of the LOC. Photo Courtesy of Narby’s Superette & Tackle

The cool down in the temperatures at night have started to move pre-spawn trout and salmon even closer to the tributaries that they will be spawning in.

Early morning and late evening fishermen working the waters around the jetties on Point Breeze have had some success catching brown trout, rainbow/steelhead trout and Chinook salmon.

Those trolling around the point have had their best luck in that early morning period.

There are still some fresh fish in the 80 to 200 feet of water range, but with the changing winds of the past week it’s hard to pin down an area any closer than that.

The weather over the next week returns to more summer-like conditions with daytime temperatures in the high 70’s.

On the inland waters of Orleans County, yellow perch fishing has slowed a bit on the lower stretches of the “Oak,” but some decent catches are still being reported.

Fishermen on Lake Alice are still reporting bluegill catches, but smaller sizes.

Bass fishing on the upper stretches of Lake Alice is good to very good, as is fishing on the Erie Canal.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

 

What to Do with Firearms and Ammunition Affected by Flood Waters

  • NSSF and SAAMI Provide Guidance on Dealing with Submerged Guns and Ammunition

NEWTOWN, Conn., Sep. 7, 2017 — Firearms owners who have seen their guns and stored ammunition submerged by flood waters in storm-wracked areas are probably wondering if their firearms and ammunition can be salvaged and safely used.

The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute® (SAAMI®) and National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) point to two helpful documents containing guidelines to assist gun owners in making sound decisions related to safely handling and treating or disposing of these items, emphasizing to always err on the side of caution and safety.

SAAMI, founded in 1926, is an organization that creates and publishes industry standards on firearms and ammunition. NSSF is the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

The SAAMI document “Guidance on Firearms That Have Been Submerged or Exposed to Extensive Amounts of Water” points out two major concerns about firearms that have been exposed to water: parts susceptible to moisture and rust damage such as metal parts, wood stocks and grips, and optics; and, secondly, infiltration of the action, barrel and safety systems by grit, silt and other foreign debris.

Always unload firearms before beginning any treatment process.

It’s important to limit moisture and corrosion damage to the component parts of the firearm. This can be accomplished by disassembling the component parts and using up to two coats of a moisture-displacing lubricant such as Hoppes #9 MDL or WD-40 to clean and stabilize the parts while, importantly, following the product’s directions so as not to damage, for instance, plastic or synthetic parts. Another tip is to allow wood stocks and grips to air-dry and not be force dried by exposure to heat.

The document emphasizes that once the firearm has been thoroughly dried, consideration must be given to having the firearm inspected and serviced by the manufacturer, an authorized service center, or a qualified gunsmith before putting the firearm back in service.

Dealing with Submerged Ammunition

To help firearms owners determine what to do with ammunition that has been affected by water and moisture, SAAMI offers another helpful document, “Guidance on Ammunition That Has Been Submerged in Water.”

Discussed are differences in moisture resistance between centerfire, rimfire and shotshell ammunition, and potential hazards associated with “drying out” cartridges, including possible deterioration and damage to cartridges due to drying methods.

Another serious hazard that could result from using compromised ammunition is the potential for a bore obstruction due to partial ignition of either the priming compound or the propellant powder charge, or both. Firing a subsequent round through an obstructed barrel can result in bodily injury, death and property damage.

SAAMI provides the following cautionary conclusion: “It would be impossible to ascertain for certain the extent of the deteriorating affect, if any, the water may have had on each individual cartridge. Therefore, the safe answer is that no attempt be made to salvage or use submerged ammunition. The ammunition should be disposed of in a safe and responsible manner. Contact your local law enforcement agency for disposal instructions in your area.

Resources:

About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

FAST-RIPPING, HARD-STOPPING RAPALA® RIPSTOP® ELICITS EPIC BITES

  • Cast. Reel. Twitch.
  • Reel. Rip! Reel. Stop!
  • Wait for it … Set the hook!
The RipStop™ tail design creates a fast-ripping, flashing swimbait action. Hard-stopping, forward motion stops on a dime, with a subtle shimmy before coming to a rest, then ever so slightly lifts its head with a super slow-rise. (Photo Credit: Rapala)

Boat your latest trophy catch courtesy of the groundbreaking RipStop®, the exhilarating new fast-ripping, hard-stopping, hard-plastic boot-tail rip bait from Rapala®.
“This is the kind of bait that gives you goose bumps,” says Rapala Director of Field Promotions, Mark Fisher, who helped dream up and design the RipStop.  “It’s a cross between a swimbait and a jerking, twitching bait that suspends.”
“Those characteristics and the new bait’s ability to “stop on a dime” make the RipStop unique,” says Brandon Palaniuk, a seven-time Bassmaster Classic competitor.  “If you watch a live baitfish swim around, it’s often in a stop-and-go type of motion.  This bait has that ability to stop right on the spot.”
“The ability to stop and suspend is the missing link that swimbaits don’t have,” Fisher explains.  “And Rapala has that.  The lure comes to a fast stop, almost as if it’s making a collision.  And it doesn’t go out of the strike zone — it stays right in front of the fish.  That is the integral part of this whole philosophy.”
Also integral is the RipStop’s unique hard-plastic-boot tail, which creates what Fisher describes as a “hard-rolling, slashing action” that mimics the live-minnow moves of a soft-plastic swimbait.  “But it’s not a hybrid,” he says.  “It’s not incorporating soft plastics into the element of the bait.  It’s a hard bait with a soft-bait action.”
“That’s something fish have never seen before,” says 2013 Forrest Wood Cup Champion Randall Tharp.
“We’ve never had a hard bait with a boot tail molded into it like that,” says Tharp, a four-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “That feature of the bait creates its unique action.”
“RipStop’s can be fished as a twitch bait, popped and ripped like a jerkbait, cast and retrieved at a steady retrieve, or with modifying your speed or cadence,” Fisher says.  They feature Rapala’s new Dual Control System design, which enhances action by offering greater stability and unbelievable control at any speed.
They suspend with a very slow, heads-up rise on the pause, shimmying slightly before coming to rest. “I’ve never seen anything like that,” Tharp says.
Although soft-plastic boot-tail swimbaits elicit bites well on the retrieve, many sink like a stone when paused, scaring off fish still considering whether to commit.  The RipStop’s ability to stop, suspend and then resume swimming will convert lookers into biters.
“The only problem with a swimbait is when you get a negative fish that comes up behind it, there are times when they’ll just bump it,” Fisher explains. “And most often, it happens with soft plastics. But when anglers get that bump-bump on a RipStop, they know they’re going to make that fish bite. They’re going to catch it with the treble hook.”
Weighing ¼ of an ounce, RipStops cast far with little effort and dive up to 3 feet.  Featuring modified flat-sided bodies, they cut easily through the water and give off maximum flash.  Their two-part plastic construction includes non-inserted lips.  Containing no rattles, they swim silently. RipStop’s come armed with two sticky-sharp, light-wire VMC® Treble Hooks.  They measure 9 centimeters and are available in 14 color patterns.
For the best results, fish RipStops on a spinning rod spooled with 6- to 10-pound-test Sufix® 832 Advanced Superline® braid tipped with an 8- to 10-pound-test leader of Sufix Invisiline 100 percent Fluorocarbon.
“Anglers want a supple line that’s going to allow that bait to really get its action,” Palaniuk says.
Tharp agrees.  “The lighter the line the better,” he says.  “It’s going to allow that bait to do what it’s designed to do – give it more of a natural appearance.”
For more information, visit www.Rapala.com.

And, be sure to check out Facebook.com/RapalaUSA for the latest tips and tricks to take your angling acumen to the next level.

4 Days to IRMA: How Much Time Boaters Have to Prepare

  • Essential info for boaters, clubs, marinas at BoatUS.com/hurricanes
Recreational boat owners need to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma (credit: NOAA)

ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 5, 2017 – According to the National Hurricane Center, Florida may have up to four days to prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a “potentially catastrophic Category 5” storm now approaching the Leeward Islands.

While it’s difficult to determine landfall, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) urges boaters, marinas and boat clubs to use the valuable time to prepare, and offers free help online at BoatUS.com/hurricanes.

The boating group says that it doesn’t take a direct hit to damage or sink recreational vessels, or cause havoc at boat storage facilities.
The storm-planning available from BoatUS help includes:
1. “BoatUS Tips for Protecting Boats in Hurricanes,” a basic two-page primer that contains advice on hurricane preparation for all recreational boaters.
2. “Boater’s Guide to Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes” has more details on how to protect your boat as well as marinas.
3. “What Works: A Guide to Preparing Marinas, Yacht Clubs and Boats for Hurricanes,” a helpful resource for marina and boat-club staff, community resiliency managers and local government organizations that focuses on protecting boating facilities.
When a storm approaches, BoatUS.com/hurricanes also has up-to-the-minute storm-tracking tools with live satellite images and checklists for what to do before and after a hurricane strikes.
Much of the hurricane guide information comes from BoatUS and its Marine Insurance Catastrophe (CAT) Team, a recognized leader in hurricane preparedness with more than 30 years of post-storm boat salvage experience. Go to BoatUS.com/hurricanes for more.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS): Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Winchester® Repeating Arms Offers New Model 1866 Short Rifle

The iconic Winchester Model 1866 is available in 44-40 Win. and 38 Special calibers, new for 2017.

The Model 1866 lever-action was the very first rifle to wear the Winchester® brand.  This rifle defines the 19th century.  Its bright brass receiver was the basis for the nickname of “Yellow Boy.”  

For 2017 the legendary Model 1866 rifle is now available from Winchester® Repeating Arms in a Grade I Short Rifle.

This makes the “Yellow Boy” experience readily affordable for cowboy action competitors, hunters, casual shooters and everyone who enjoys spending a day at the range with a genuine Winchester lever-action classic. 

The receiver, crescent butt plate and forearm cap, are crafted from solid brass with a full bright polish finish.  

The stock and forearm are Grade I American black walnut with a satin oil finish.  

The folding ladder rear sight and Marble Arms® gold bead front sight get you on target quickly.

A full-length magazine tube, open top ejection port and blued steel loading gate and action screws are also featured.

Barrel length is 20” and the average weight is 7¼ lbs.

It is available in 44-40 Win. and 38 Special calibers at a suggested retail price of $1,299.99.

Features:

·       Grade I American black walnut straight grip stock

·       Classic rifle-style forearm

·       Full bright polish brass surfaces

·       Brass crescent buttplate

·       Folding ladder rear sight with Marble Arms® gold bead front sight

·       Open top ejection port

·       Full-length tube magazine

·       Blued steel loading gate

·       Blued steel action screws

For more information on Winchester Firearms, please visit http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/rifles/model-1866/model-1866s-in-current-production/1866-short-rifle.html.

Customized options and engraving are available for many of the Winchester model firearms.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 29, 2017

  • LOC Derby Ends Sep. 4
  • Lure Selection Tips
  • Lake Alice Bass Fishing Still Good

Today is Tuesday August 29, 2017.
There is still time to enter the Fall LOC Derby and collect some of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs. The derby ends on Monday September 4th at 1 PM with the awards ceremony taking place at Captain Jack’s in Sodus Point starting around 3PM. Hope to see your name on the leader board.
Fishing on Lake Ontario off the shores of Orleans County has been interesting to say the least. Fish are on the move from close to shore and then off shore depending on the winds of the day.
Lure selection seems to be anybody’s guess, but it seems that spoons in the green patterns and flashers in the white patterns are most often mentioned.
With the cooler temperatures of the past few days, salmon are inching closer to shore and preparing for their spawning runs but warmer temperatures could slow that down a bit.
The Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey wrapped up this past Sunday with some great catches posted on the leader board. What really makes this event so fantastic is the attention payed to the young ladies and gentlemen that participate in this event. A big “Thank You” to all of the parents that take the time to take these future leaders into the great outdoors and help them experience some of nature at its best.
Perch fishing on the lower stretches of the “Oak” should start picking up very soon as the water temperature of the “Oak” gets to more favorable levels.
On Lake Alice, bass fishing is still good to very good on the upper reaches and Bluegill are still being caught around the Waterport Bridge area.
The Erie Canal is still a good source for all of the warm water species and a great place to enjoy a sunny afternoon with the family.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

The 2017 Lake Erie Experience: A “Must Do” Destination – Dunkirk Harbor

  • Lake Erie 2017 is a WALLEYE MECCA near Chadwick Bay / Dunkirk Harbor
  • Merritt Estate Winery offers FREE SAMPLING of all Wine Varieties
  • Cassadaga Lake is a Bass and Musky SECRET
  • Cabana Sam’s Blackened Grouper is a WINNER DINNER

By Mike Joyner

The great Empire State by any casual observation is one of our nation’s meccas for natural resources and endless opportunities for recreational pursuits. With a critical eye it is by reasonable opinion one of the top five states arranged only by personal recreational preferences.

 It is now entirely possible to nudge a hard core turkey hunter to enjoy nearly as much, another sportsman’s activity such as fishing. It is a most somber admission after a quarter century of long beard mania madness. In all honesty fishing came first as a wee young lad, whitetails in my mid-twenties, and in 1993, gobbler chasing took over everything. Prior priorities were relegated to distant second and third rankings of outdoor passions.

I accepted the invite with eager anticipation to attend the 9th Annual VIP Fishing Day taking place out of Chadwick Bay Marina in Dunkirk Harbor. Timing with my workload fell into a rare alignment of the stars making it feasible to get away. It would turn out to be a great mid-week getaway to enjoy several days of great fishing, camaraderie, and an opportunity to meet with local leaders, and tourism professionals to exchange thoughts and ideas as well as the requisite tall tales of fishing adventures.

Dave Barus had set up ‘Chautauqua County Media Fish Camp 2017’ for us to take in and experience what the area has to offer. I cannot thank him enough for handling the logistics and details of the excursion. He has a bright future in herding cats as outdoor writers are an independent group of individuals. Sunset Bay Cottage would be base camp for the duration. Located in Sunset Bay it is a great place to meet up, enjoy the beach and dining establishments, all within short walking distances. Past NYSOWA President Wayne Brewer, Leon Archer, Steve Colley, Wade Robertson and Collin Voss would be fellow camp mates and made for a great fish camp. Steve and Wade hailing from Northern Pennsylvania would join us for the latter two days while Collin, our youngest member in camp would endure initiation rights and would enjoy the third day out on the lake. Ultimately Collin out fished us all and kept his shirt tail intact. The conversations and storytelling at camp are the very reasons we cherish our time there!

First morning out we would head to Dunkirk Harbor only to find rough conditions which had already forced a number of boats back to the marina. We met up with local bass pro’s Scott Gauld and Scott Callen and decided to head over to Cassadaga Lake for bass, both smallmouth, and largemouth on much calmer waters. We fished the upper lake and enjoyed a relaxed and fun time catching smallmouths along with a few muskies. A special thank you to their sponsors Denali Rods, Kamooki Lures, and Venom Lures for being perfect equipment choices for our time on the lake. After a morning of ‘impromptu testing’, I will be adding them to my A-list for ‘must have’ gear. 

Scott Callen. Wayne Brewer, Leon Archer

Later in the day we paid a visit to Merritt Estate Winery located in Forestville, New York. We met up with Bill Merritt the owner and enjoyed a fine tasting of current offerings. With my ties to the industry in the Cortland area, I hope to see their offerings there. The staff is to be commended for their prompt and friendly service. They present a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy the fine wines they craft. Being a big fan of New York craft beers, distilled spirits and wines, the offerings at Merritt Estate Winery was worth the trip. My wife and I routinely stock our wine racks with New York wines and will add Merritt estate wines to our preferred vino to have on hand.

We would take a short walk over to Cabana Sam’s Sunset Bay Grill later that evening to sample the dining fare of the area. Blacken Grouper Reuben was my choice, and I would go out of my way to go back there again just for that. I’ll express empathy to my other camp mates that could not be there for the dinner outing as it was a meal not to miss.

There are many other wineries, craft beer companies, and distillers in the area. It is my only regret of the trip that I could not stay an extra day or two to enjoy tastings at each of them and further enjoy the many dining choices of the area. It is my thought that the Tourism Bureau has a lot of great offerings to work with and promote. I will return to the area for that very reason.

Our second full day in Dunkirk would have us out on the Great Lake Experience Event with conditions a bit more hospitable for fishing. Although I purchased nearly the full accordion worth of licenses each year to hunt and fish, it was appreciated that the day was deemed a free fishing day as to attract invited guests experiencing their first time on the lake. The event matched up boat captains with outdoor writers such as myself, many folks from the surrounding county tourism bureaus, NYSDEC, local politicians, county dignitaries, state legislators, and Congressmen. It was estimated that over sixty participants were paired up with twenty-two well-experienced boat captains who went above and beyond to show all of us a great morning out on Lake Erie.

After being assigned to come aboard 365 Sportfishing Charters, I headed out with Chautauqua County Executive- Vince Horrigan, fellow outdoor writer Paula Piatt, Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO- Todd Tranum, Congressmen Tom Reed Staffers- Jaqueline Phelps (Regional Director) & Alison Hunt(District Director), with Captain Mark Hitcome at the helm. We were after walleyes, as were the other charters. After navigating several miles out into the lake, we were in the thick of it at water depths of 70-100 feet. With a full complement of planar boards and down riggers rigged, we soon had one pole after another set hook, and there was plenty of action. Everyone caught a pile of walleyes along with a few silver bass. There were seven or eight just under the 15″ legal size, and we kept seventeen walleyes altogether. We came in an hour before the appointed time due to the lake kicking up five-foot waves. One of the walleyes I caught was one of several that came in just shy of four pounds.

Once docked and the fish taken care of we headed to the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club. A luncheon get together was scheduled with invites for all the participants and special guests including NYSDEC Chief, Bureau of Fish and Wildlife Services- Steve Hurst, Chautauqua County Executive- Vince Horrigan, City of Dunkirk Mayor- Willie Rosas, NYS Assemblyman District 150- Andy Goodell, and US 23rd District Congressman Tom Reed along with other local dignitaries. Zen Olow, chairman of the Great Lakes Experience event and Club President MC’d the affair. Presentations covered issues concerning pollution in the Great Lakes that eventually flows into Lake Erie and on to Lake Ontario, upcoming/pending legislation initiatives, club awards, and comments from distinguished guests. The main course on the menu as you may have guessed was walleye cutlets which in my opinion is the tastiest culinary delight of any game fish caught in New York State. I would have to admit that begrudgingly. As a young boy, I totally believed that Northern Pike was the best fish to eat. My grandfather cubed them into one-inch pieces within minutes of being taken from the live well and placed directly into a fresh pot of fish chowder simmering on grandma’s stove. I can still remember his old F-100 coming down the driveway with giant Northern’s still jumping in the bed of the pickup. The delicious smell of fresh chowder simmering is one that stays with you all your days. Now that I leave you hungry… With over a hundred people attending, it was as much fine eating and education that you could possibly pack in between the four walls of the club.

 Our second evening was spent in camp with home cooking courtesy of our host, fine wines, and the best of company. David’s grandson Collin, would join us that evening and was a welcomed addition to our camp. Collin is an impressive young man and a exemplary example of his upbringing. The fact that he out fished all of us is something we’ll have to let go of and come to grips with eventually… all kidding aside it is a pleasure to have him in camp.

Our last morning on the lake would pair myself, Leon and local area outdoor writer Gene Pauszek with Sassafras Fishing Charters. Captain Lance Ehrhardt along with Zen Olow would be in charge of another great day out on Lake Erie. the lake would be a bit calmer than the day prior. Once all the rigging was complete we would not wait long for the hooks to set and the reeling to start. Although a little slower pace than the day before we would limit out on walleye. With calmer waters, we relaxed, told tall stories, cheesy jokes and caught plenty of walleyes! A bit of back story as few days prior to the V.I.P. event, I would learn that Eastern Lake Erie Charter Association members Lance and Zen, along with Joe Jemiolo (passed away in 2014) were the main forces behind the creation of the annual V.I.P. fishing event. All the walleyes cooked up for the grand luncheon were made possible by Eastern Lake Erie Charter Association Members in concert with Sunset Bay Shoot Out, Razor’s Big Dawg tournaments. We were in the company of great people, great volunteers.Collin Voss

It is a focused opportunity to couple what we so love and are endeared to as sportsmen to convey, to educate those that promote tourism opportunities, and ultimately makes decisions, crafting legislation that impacts our sport. It is also an opportunity for outdoor professionals & sportsmen to learn and gain insights as to how decisions are formulated. We as sportsmen can provide data or participate in the research needed to enhance our great pastime, and attract newcomers to a grand recreational experience.

Maintaining and improving the natural resources, a world class fishery was the topic at hand. I’ll speak for all that attended in that we enjoyed a grand experience of a vibrant and healthy fishery. It is a fine example of what can be achieved in the Empire State. As if you need further prodding, the word among the group was that the current state of the fishery on Lake Erie promises to be great fishing for years to come given the abundant and diverse age classes of walleye and of other fish species.

As I titled this scattered collection of impressions and honest opinion it holds so true that it is a “Must do in Chautauqua County from Dunkirk Harbor” destination. It is a gem of our great state and one that I will return to with my wife to enjoy the great fishing, as well as the other offerings that the area excels at. As an outside observer, it is impressive the number of groups, people from very different interests working together to build up a healthy ecosystem, a vibrant fishery, and a destination well worth the trip. All of us who cherish New York State’s natural resources, the quality of its fisheries extend a very large thank you to all that have made it so successful.

-MJ

© 2017 Joyner Outdoor Media (Link: http://www.turkey-talk.com/tblog/?p=622)

Montana Elk Habitat Conserved, Opened to Public Access

For video and details, please visit: https://youtu.be/cEXi4RB8lsc.   Photo Credit: RMEF

MISSOULA, Mont. – Aug 22, 2017 —A key wildlife landscape previously threatened by subdivision in northwest Montana is now permanently protected and in the public’s hands thanks to a collaborative effort between the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a conservation-minded family and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS).

“This property lies within the popular Holland Lake recreational area of the scenic Swan Valley and there was some pressure to develop it,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer. “We appreciate the landowners for recognizing the wildlife values of the land and reaching out to us to help conserve it.”

The 640-acre parcel offers important summer and winter habitat for elk and whitetail deer. It is also provides key habitat for grizzly bears, Canada lynx and a vast array of other wildlife. Additionally, it contains riparian habitat via springs and a chain of wetland ponds that feed a tributary of Holland Creek.

Located about 65 miles north of Missoula, the property lies west of the Swan Mountain Range and is nestled between the Bob Marshall Wilderness to the east and Mission Mountain Wilderness to the west. It was previously an inholding within the Flathead National Forest but thanks to its conveyance, it now falls under the ownership umbrella of the USFS and belongs to all citizens.

”This acquisition will improve public land access, and help to preserve the recreation setting and valuable wildlife habitat in the popular Holland Lake area,” said Rich Kehr, Swan Lake district ranger.

The Holland Lake project is one of the first to receive 2017 funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund. To see the video with details of this area, please visit: https://youtu.be/cEXi4RB8lsc.

Since 1985, RMEF and its partners completed 967 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects in Montana with a combined value of more than $160.2 million. These projects protected or enhanced 818,826 acres of habitat and opened or secured public access to 289,532 acres.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of more than 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 7.1 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK. Take action: join and/or donate.

 

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 23, 2017

  • King of the Oak Tournament News
  • King Salmon and Coho’s have New Location
  • Lake Alice Bass Fishing

Today is Tuesday August 22, 2017.

There were a lot of derbies and tournaments going on this weekend with some fantastic catches brought to the scales.

The “King-of-the Oak” Tournament was postponed on Saturday due to a small craft advisory on Lake Ontario and was held instead on Sunday.  For this second leg of the tournament, Captain Tom Boddy and crew of Screamin’ Reels Charters amassed a fantastic catch with three salmon weighing in at 73.13 Pounds.  Right behind Tom, was Capt. Rick Hajecki of Yankee Troller and in 3rd place was Capt. Bob Songin of Reel Excitement Charters.  The third and final leg of the tournament will be held on September 3rd and will determine who gets the coveted title of “King of the Oak” for next year.

Sunday was also the end of the Orleans County Rotary Derby and this year it was a nail biter right to the end.  With a very short time left, John Vanhoff of North Tonawanda landed a 30-pound 12-ounce salmon to knock Keith Sheffield’s 30-pound 9-ounce salmon out of the grand prize winner’s spot by just 3 ounces. That put Keith in the first-place spot for the salmon division.  In the steelhead/rainbow trout division, Robert Griffith of Copley, Ohio, brought in a 15-pound 14-ounce beauty to take first place.  The first place brown trout was taken by Bill Cole of Albion with a 14-pound 3-ounce beauty and the big lake trout was caught by Dan DeGeorge of Rochester, with a monster 17-pound 10-ounce fish.

It’s interesting to note that two of the participants that made it to the leader board are young gentlemen, Jason Grager in 2nd place with a 12-pound 12-ounce brown trout, and in 3rd place in the lake trout division was Braydon Gambell with a 14-pound 9-ounce beauty. Just goes to show that the youth of today are into the great outdoors and especially fishing.

This report is getting too long, so I’ll cover the Greater Niagara Fish Odyssey and the Fall LOC Derby in my next report.

On Lake Ontario, after a rocky start this year, fishing has settled in to an area around the 25.5 to the 27 lines with some great catches of both Chinook and Coho salmon along with very large steelhead thrown into the mix.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area is just about the best anywhere.  It won’t be long before the perch fishing starts up again on the lower stretches of the “Oak” and that will be followed by some of the best tributary fishing to be found anywhere.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 15, 2017

  • Rotary Derby Awards this Sunday
  • Mid-Level Fishing producing King Salmon
  • Border Water Fishing producing Steelies & Salmon

Today is Tuesday August 15, 2017.

By request, the Orleans County Hotline Report will now be updated every Tuesday instead of Wednesday.

First, the location of the Rotary Derby Awards Ceremony this Sunday has been changed from the Carlton Rec Hall to the Black North.  Hope to see all of you there for a great time and I know that great food and drink will be available.  After a slow start to the derby this year, the leader board is filling up with some fantastic catches in all of the categories, and there’s still time to enter and be one of those on the leader board at the awards ceremony.

Hit and miss showers are in the weather forecast over the next week, so let’s hope for more miss and less hit.

The mid-water fishing, around the 200 feet of water mark, has started to come on with mostly salmon in the catches.  The off-shore fishing has moved out to almost the border and is producing a good mixed bag of both salmon and steelhead.  The baits being used are all over the place so the best advice I can give is to use what you have the greatest confidence in and then change as needed.

Please remember that we now have two great ports to fish out of and two great charter fleets for you to book trip with, Point Breeze and Bald Eagle Creek Marina.  The marinas at Point Breeze have been working all season long to provide the very best of service while fighting the high-water conditions as has the great crew at Bald Eagle Creek Marina.

On Lake Alice, around the Waterport Bridge, catches of Bluegill are good but a lot of smaller fish in the mix.  Please remember that those smaller fish are the future catches so put them back to grow into next year’s catch.  Bass fishing on Lake Alice remains good to very good in the upper reaches.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good mixed bag of the warm water species is being taken.  One gentleman I know of says that Gar pike fishing in this area are just about the best anywhere.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

VIDEOS: BoatUS – FIX, LEARN & DO Summer Boating How-to ‘Film Festival’ Kicks-off

  • 15 new VIDEO SHORTS by BoatUS Editors on How-To FIX, LEARN & DO Practical Boating Projects
BoatUS’ How-to videos are easy to watch.

NOT HOLLYWOOD, Calif., August 7, 2017 – What are the most common boating tasks when boat owners need to ask for help? Editors at BoatUS Magazine, the trusted voice of American boating, compiled a list of the top topics and announced the kickoff of a “BoatUS Summer How-to Film Festival” today with the release of 15 short, easily-watchable videos.

“We’re calling the video release a summer ‘film festival’ because all are themed with a “how-to” focus, are organized in one simple place to view, and are easy to watch outdoors,” added BoatUS Magazine associate editor Charles Fort.

Mark Corke, BoatUS Magazine associate editor, shared thoughts about the videos:  “The topics chosen come from decades of BoatUS member requests.  These are the practical things that most trailer-boat owners want to know.”

Titles range from launching your boat solo and changing a prop to backing a boat trailer down the ramp, changing a bilge-pump switch, and troubleshooting trailer lights.  Most are just two or three minutes long.  Breakout the popcorn and check out the videos at YouTube.com/BoatUS.

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):  Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Become a Citizen Scientist for Black Bear Research in New York New “iSeeMammals” App

By NYSDEC

iSeeMammals is a new citizen science project of DEC and the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at Cornell University. It collects data to help researchers and DEC biologists study the distribution and size of the black bear population in New York. iSeeMammals will help researchers collect data from more areas than researchers can cover in the field.

Participation is open to all. iSeeMammals collects information about where and when users identify bears or bear signs (scat, tracks, hair, markings) while hiking or on their personal trail cameras. Photographs of observations, repeat hikes, and trail cameras set up for multiple months are strongly encouraged. An app for data collection and submission is available for free download in Apple and Android stores.

Visit iSeeMammals.org to:

Learn more about the project

Access photo galleries of iSeeMammals data as photos are submitted

Get information on bear ecology and bear management in New York

See extras like quizzes, contests, and giveaways

Training workshops and seminars may be available; inquire via their contact form. 

 

New York Announces Comprehensive Plan to Minimize Risk of Chronic Wasting Disease to Wild Deer & Moose Herds

  • Public Comments on the Draft Plan Accepted Through September 1
  • Goal: Protect Wild Whitetail Deer, Moose and Captive Elk and Other Species
  • New York is Leading Way to Protect Wildlife and Hunter Resources
Resident and non-resident hunters may reap the resource of GIANT whitetail deer harvest, and deer of any size, for decades to come as a result of this conservative objective by NYSDEC.  Forrest Fisher Photo

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the release of a draft New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan for public comment. The plan describes proposed regulatory changes and actions that DEC will take to minimize the risk of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) entering or spreading in New York and was designed to protect both wild white-tailed deer and moose, as well as captive cervids including deer and elk held at enclosed facilities.

DEC biologists worked with New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets veterinarians and wildlife health experts at Cornell University to craft a comprehensive set of steps that are the most advanced CWD prevention strategies in the nation.

“New York is leading the way in protecting our valuable deer and moose herds,” said Commissioner Seggos. “Not only does this horrible disease kill animals slowly, but wild white-tailed deer hunting represents a $1.5 billion industry in the state. Our CWD Risk Minimization Plan is in the best interest of all of us who care about wildlife and especially about the health of our wild white-tail deer herd. Governor Cuomo’s commitment to high-quality hunting opportunities in New York also supports our taking action now to prevent a serious problem down the road.”

Disease prevention is the only cost-effective way to keep CWD out of New York. Together with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York is using cutting-edge science and common sense to ensure that everything possible is done to protect the state’s wild deer and moose and captive deer and elk herds from CWD.

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The Department’s veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians were responsible for the early detection of New York’s only CWD incident and played critical roles in the response to the discovery of CWD in 2005. Our staff continue to work hard to control the risk of this serious disease and maintain our early detection system. This plan will further support these efforts to protect our wildlife.”

CWD, an always fatal brain disease found in species of the deer family, was discovered in Oneida County wild and captive white-tailed deer in 2005. More than 47,000 deer have been tested statewide since 2002, and there has been no reoccurrence of the disease since 2005. New York is the only state to have eliminated CWD once it was found in wild populations. In North America, CWD has been found in 24 states and two Canadian provinces including neighboring Pennsylvania and Ohio.

This nice 8-Point buck was taken by Dieter Voss in Erie County, New York., on the opening day of the season at high noon. Such wild whitetail resources are the intended GOAL to SAVE” for future hunters through the new directive. Forrest Fisher Photo

CWD was first identified in Colorado in 1967 and is caused by infectious prions, which are misfolded proteins that cannot be broken down by the body’s normal processes. They cause holes to form in the brain. Prions are found in deer parts and products including urine and feces; they can remain infectious in soil for years and even be taken up into plant tissues. CWD is in the same family of diseases, transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, as “mad cow” disease in cattle. Millions of cattle were destroyed because of mad cow disease in England and Europe in the 1990s and the disease also caused a fatal brain condition in some humans that ate contaminated beef products. Although there have been no known cases of CWD in humans, the Centers for Disease Control recommends that no one knowingly eat CWD-positive venison.

The proposed plan would streamline operations between DEC and the State Department of Agriculture and strengthen the state’s regulations to prevent introduction of CWD. Some examples of the proposed changes include:

  • Prohibit the importation of certain parts from any CWD-susceptible cervid taken outside of New York. Require that these animals be deboned or quartered and only the meat, raw hide or cape, and cleaned body parts, such as skull cap, antlers, jaws, and teeth, or finished taxidermy mounts be allowed for import into the state.
  • Prohibit the retail sale, possession, use, and distribution of deer or elk urine and any products from CWD-susceptible animals that may contain prions, including glands, or other excreted material while allowing New York captive cervid facilities to continue to export deer urine outside of New York State.
  • Maintain and reinforce the prohibition on the feeding of wild deer and moose in New York State.
  • Provide DEC Division of Law Enforcement the necessary authority to enforce Department of Agriculture and Market’s CWD regulations.
  • Explore possible penalties or charges to defray costs associated with the removal of escaped cervids from the environment or the response to disease outbreaks.
  • Require all taxidermists and deer processors (people who butcher deer for hire) to dispose of cervid waste and waste byproducts in compliance with 6 NYCRR Part 360, such as in a municipal landfill.
  • Promotion of improved fencing methods for captive cervids to further prevent contact with wild deer or moose.
  • Partner with the State Department of Agriculture and Markets to enhance captive cervid testing while continuing DEC’s rigorous surveillance testing in hunter-harvested deer.
  • Improve record keeping and data sharing between departments through joint inspections of captive cervid facilities, electronic reporting, and animal marking.
  • Improve handling requirements, record keeping, and disease testing of wild white-tailed deer temporarily held in captivity for wildlife rehabilitation.
  • Develop a communication plan and strategy to re-engage stakeholders, including captive cervid owners and the public, in CWD risk minimization measures and updates on CWD research.

The New York State Interagency CWD Risk Minimization Plan has had extensive outreach and vetting by sporting groups in the state to address the concerns of myriad stakeholders while maintaining the strength of purpose to protect the public and the environment. The plan updates reporting requirements, improves communication to stakeholders, and simplifies regulations to reduce confusion while protecting our natural resources.

The draft plan is available for public review on the DEC website. Written comments on the draft plan will be accepted through September 1, 2017. Comments can be submitted by e-mail (wildlife@dec.ny.gov, subject: “CWD Plan”) or by writing to NYSDEC, Bureau of Wildlife, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233-4754.

Orleans County Fishing Report – Aug. 2, 2017

  • LOC Summer Derby Results are in
  • 31 pound, 10 ounce Orleans County Salmon is WINNER
  • Summer Fish are on the Big Bite

Today is Wednesday Aug. 2, 2017.

First, I’d like to congratulate the winners of the Summer LOC Derby, especially those that were caught out of Orleans County.  Out of Orleans County, we had First Place in the salmon division with a 31.1-pound salmon caught by Kristin Wilson.  Victor Rowcliffe had the 4th place salmon weighing 29.05 pounds

In the Lake Trout Division, the 4th place fish weighed 21.1 pounds and was caught by James Irene and the 7th place fish was 20.04 pounds caught by Michael Wichtowski.

In the Rainbow/Steelhead Division, Darwin Snow caught the 6th place fish which weighed 12.15 pounds, 10th place was Tiffany Keicher’s 11.15-pound fish, 13th place went to Laura Brown with a 11.11-pound fish and the 17th place fish weighed 11.08 pounds and was caught by Patrick Pullinzi.

All in all, not a bad showing for the great fishing waters we enjoy in Lake Ontario off Orleans County.

Fishing on Lake Ontario seems to have moved off shore and for right and now seems to be taking place around the 30 line and beyond.

Good catches of both salmon and steelhead are being reported using a mixture of both spoons and flasher/fly combinations in a multitude of color patterns.

On the Erie Canal, around the wide water area, some great catfish catches are being taken along with many other species.

Lake Alice still has some great bass fishing in the upper stretches where the boat traffic is much lighter.  The lower stretches of the “Oak” are still producing northern pike and bass.

The weather for the rest of this week and into next week contains the possibility of some pop-up showers and thunderstorms so keep a lookout for them.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Kevin VanDam and His Nephew, Jonathon, will lead St. Lawrence Elite Series Event into Finals

  • Bass Anglers bring in 13 Bags of 20 Pounds or More!
  • Kevin Van Dam is ZONED-IN on Smallmouth Bass
  • Wind Direction Change was KEY
Kevin VanDam of Kalamazoo, Mich., holds the lead for the third day of the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing, bringing 22 pounds, 10 ounces to the scales on Saturday for a three-day total weight of 66-7.  Photo by Seigo Saito/B.A.S.S.

WADDINGTON, N.Y. (July 22, 2017) – It’s been every pro fisherman’s nightmare for more than 25 years.  Superstar Kevin VanDam — a Michigan native and arguably the best smallmouth angler in the history of the sport — is hammering the smallies with no sign of slowing down.  And now, the remaining anglers in the field have just one more day to overtake him and keep him from recording his 24th career B.A.S.S. victory wire-to-wire style at the Huk Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River presented by Go RVing.

VanDam added five bass that weighed 22 pounds, 10 ounces Saturday and maintained the lead he has held from the start with a three-day total of 66-7.

“Today was really calm,” he said. “The wind changed 180 degrees and blew the exact opposite direction from what it did (Friday). That really slowed things down, and it’s a lot easier to position your boat when it’s like that.

“You saw what the weights were like today.  If it’s like that tomorrow, it’s going to be a shootout.”

Saturday’s semifinal round saw 13 bags of 20 pounds or more brought to the scales, including the 21-8 limit weighed in by VanDam’s nephew, Jonathon VanDam. The younger VanDam moved into second place with a three-day mark of 64-0.

“It’s been a great week so far for me,” JVD said. “I definitely needed a tournament like this for the points.

“All you can ask for is to put yourself into position to win, and I’ve definitely got a shot.”

Idaho angler Brandon Palaniuk had another strong day with 22-4 and rose from ninth place into third with 63-3. It would be a remarkable feat for Palaniuk to record a victory, considering he was in 72nd place on Day 1.

After those early struggles, Palaniuk said he believed he would need at least a 24-pound average for the remaining three days to have a chance for a win.

“I caught 25 Friday and 22 today, so I’m off that 24-pound average by about a pound,” Palaniuk said. “That probably means I need 25 or 26 to have a shot.

“That kind of bag is out there — and I’ve got to have them because all of these guys are going to catch 20 pounds again tomorrow.”

Brent Ehrler, a veteran California pro with more than $2 million in career earnings, caught 21-8 Saturday and jumped into fourth place with 63-1. Ehrler has two second-place finishes since joining the Elite Series in 2015, but he’s still seeking his first win.

After leading two events into the final round this year only to fall short, he said he feels strong about the position he’s in going into Championship Sunday.

“I like being back just a little bit instead of leading, but it’s a tough hill to climb,” Ehrler said. “I didn’t necessarily lay off of them today. But at one point, I stopped fishing a couple of spots and kind of defended them. I started looking around a little bit instead of pounding on them.

“The fish are there — and if everything is right, I think I can catch them.”

VanDam and Palaniuk are also locked in a battle with South Carolina pro Casey Ashley for the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year award. Palaniuk leads with 621 points, followed by Ashley with 616 and KVD with 604.

The tournament will conclude Sunday, with the Top 12 remaining anglers leaving Whittaker Park at 6:15 a.m. ET. The weigh-in will be held back at the park at 3:15 p.m., with a $100,000 first-place prize on the line.

The event is hosted by the Village of Waddington.

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Platinum Sponsor: Toyota

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Premier Sponsors: Shell Rotella, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Yamaha, Berkley, Huk, Humminbird, Nitro Boats, Mercury, Minn Kota, Power-Pole

2017 Bassmaster Elite Series Supporting Sponsors: Carhartt, Dick Cepek Tires & Wheels, Livingston Lures, Lowrance, Phoenix Boats, Shimano, T-H Marine, Advance Auto Parts, Academy Sports + Outdoors

About B.A.S.S. – B.A.S.S. is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., the 500,000-member organization’s fully integrated media platforms include the industry’s leading magazines (Bassmaster and B.A.S.S. Times), website (Bassmaster.com), television show (The Bassmasters on ESPN2), radio show (Bassmaster Radio), social media programs and events. For more than 45 years, B.A.S.S. has been dedicated to access, conservation and youth fishing.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the most prestigious events at each level of competition, including the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, Academy Sports + Outdoors B.A.S.S. Nation Series presented by Magellan Outdoors, Carhartt Bassmaster College Series presented by Bass Pro Shops, Costa Bassmaster High School Series presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, Toyota Bonus Bucks Bassmaster Team Championship and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods.

NEW AMTRAK POLICY ALLOWS ARCHERY EQUIPMENT ON TRAINS

ATA Partnered with Congressman Woodall of Georgia and Archery Organizations to Advocate for Change.

New Ulm, Minnesota (July 20, 2017) – Amtrak, which operates more than 300 trains daily across the United States, now allows passengers to transport archery equipment as checked baggage. Amtrak previously prohibited archery gear on its trains, but changed its policy thanks to advocacy by the Archery Trade Association, with support from U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall, R-Georgia, USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association.

This change gives America’s estimated 23.8 million archers the opportunity to transport their bows and arrows via Amtrak while traveling to archery and bowhunting activities nationwide.

“This is a significant victory for bowhunters and archers, and a great example of how the ATA advocates for our manufacturing and retail members, and their customers,” said Jay McAninch, ATA president/CEO. “Dan Forster on our team spearheaded this effort. This is a prime example of the initiatives ATA’s director of government relations works on. We’re grateful Amtrak reconsidered its policy, and excited that bowhunters and archers nationwide will be able to ride Amtrak for bowhunts, archery tournaments and vacations while enjoying these family activities.”

The new policy, which took effect July 10, specifies all archery equipment – such as bows, arrows and crossbows – must be transported as checked baggage in a hard- or soft-sided case. Amtrak does not require reservations for archery equipment, as it does for firearms. Bow cases cannot exceed 50 pounds or 75 linear inches. Amtrak does not limit the number of archery equipment cases, but because each case counts as one checked item, normal baggage limits apply. Customers are charged for excess items.

In leading the effort to change Amtrak’s regulations regarding transporting archery equipment, the ATA’s Dan Forster sought help from Congress while working with USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association to rally support. Photo by Archery trade Association

In leading the effort to change Amtrak’s regulations, the ATA’s Forster sought help from Congress while working with USA Archery and the National Field Archery Association to rally support. Amtrak was created by Congress as part of the Federal Railroad Administration, and is overseen by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure as well as the Senate’s Commerce Science and Transportation Committee.

Forster said Rep. Woodall – who represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, and is a member of the House’s Transportation Oversight Committee – was instrumental in amending Amtrak’s policy. “We’re deeply grateful to Amtrak’s team for their willingness to listen to our appeal, and especially to Congressman Woodall’s office for advocating for this change,” Forster said. “We’re excited to see ATA members and Amtrak’s millions of customers across the country taking advantage of this new avenue of transportation for their bowhunting and archery activities.”

“Solving America’s big challenges takes time, but we can make government work better for Georgia families one issue at a time every single day,” said Rep. Rob Woodall. “This is a great example of one of those opportunities to do better, and it was once again started by someone willing to pick up the phone and give me a call. We have dozens of ATA member companies and retailers in Georgia, not to mention nearly 24 million bowhunters and archers across the country, and I was happy to reach out to the folks at Amtrak. I’m glad to see they found a solution that works for everyone.”

USA Archery welcomes the policy change. “From youth and collegiate archers to Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls, many of our members stand to benefit from Amtrak’s new policy,” said Denise Parker, CEO of USA Archery. “Families, clubs and teams can now consider Amtrak as a viable option for tournament travel.”

Bruce Cull, president of the National Field Archery Association, agreed. “The NFAA hosts thousands of archers at events across the country, throughout the year,” Cull said. “Many of them combine family vacations with the fun and camaraderie of archery competition, and they enjoy bowhunting when they aren’t shooting arrows for score. We’re pleased to see more transportation options available to our members.”

Learn more about Amtrak’s archery equipment policy here.

About the Archery Trade Association – The Archery Trade Association is the organization for manufacturers, retailers, distributors, sales representatives and others working in the archery and bowhunting industry. The ATA has served its members since 1953. It is dedicated to making the industry profitable by decreasing business overhead, reducing taxes and government regulation, and increasing participation in archery and bowhunting. The organization also owns and operates the ATA Trade Show, the archery and bowhunting industry’s largest and longest-running trade show worldwide. For more information, like the ATA Trade Show on Facebook, follow @ATATradeShow on Twitter, or learn more about archery and bowhunting at Archery360.com and Bowhunting360.com.

For more information, contact Teresa Johnson, ATA’s senior director of communications and administration, at (860) 904-0497 or teresajohnson@archerytrade.org.

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 21, 2017

  • Summer Fish are on the Big Bite
  • LOC Summer Derby is ON
  • 31 pound, 10 ounce Salmon is LOC Leader

Today is Wednesday July 19, 2017.

Rain is in the forecast off and on through the end of next week, but it sounds like more of a quick shower or two than the downpours we have been experiencing lately.

Good news is that temperatures are more summer-like over the next week or so.  Lake Ontario water levels are dropping and hopefully this trend will continue.  Some really good news is that the launch ramps on the west side of Oak Orchard River have re-opened for use and this should take some of the pressure off the east side launch ramps and the parking lot.

Another great piece of news is that a 31-pound 10-ounce salmon was weighed in yesterday at Narby’s yesterday and is now the Grand Prize leader.

The leaderboard for the LOC Summer Derby is starting to look like the old days as far as weights go.  On Lake Ontario off Orleans County, fishing has gone from good to exceptional over the last week.  Fishing – in the 100 to 250 feet of water range – is where most of the action is taking place.  Riggers, copper rigs and lead lines set from 65 to 90 feet down are seeing most of the action.  Spoons are back in the mix of lures used, but the meat rigs and flasher/fly combinations are still seeing most of the action.

The derby runs through the end of this month, so there’s still time to enter and get in on some of the great cash prizes that are up for grabs.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak”, Lake Alice and the Erie Canal, fish catches and conditions are returning to summer like conditions.  Bass are still the main catch, but you never know what that next cast may bring.

The Erie Canal Fishing Derby ended this past Sunday with some great catches showing up on the leader board.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 12, 2017

  • LOC Derby Fishing Helps Find Fish
  • Fish for a Cure starts This Week
  • Erie Canal Tourney is ON!

Today is Wednesday July 12, 2017.

It seems like this appears in my report a lot, but rain is in the forecast for most of the rest of this week, except for Saturday and into the first part of next week.

Even with that, the Army Corps of Engineers predicts that the level of Lake Ontario will drop approximately 7″ by the end of July.  Maybe businesses and land owners along the shoreline will finally get a break.

As far as fishing goes along the Orleans County portion of Lake Ontario, things have been pretty consistent in a very good way for a change.

Most trollers are working the area from 140 to 240 feet of water with very good success. Spoons are still taking a back seat to some type of spinner/fly combinations and sometimes cut bait has been the ticket.

With the Summer LOC Derby in full swing, some great catches are showing upon the leader board including a good number caught right here in Orleans County.  The derby runs through the end of this month so why not enter and get your share of some of those great cash prizes.

Don’t forget that this Saturday is the Drew’s Crew Fishing for a cure for Juvenile Diabetes Derby. This is a chance to help out for a very worthwhile cause while enjoying some of the great fishing on Lake Ontario.  Enter by 7 AM this Saturday and be at the weigh-in at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina by 3 PM with your best 3 fish.

On the “Oak,” it’s been a mixed bag of fish from the mouth all the way to the dam consisting of perch, bass, northern pike and even some walleye thrown into the mix.

Other tributaries within Orleans County are experiencing the same success including the Erie Canal.

Speaking of the Erie Canal, the annual Erie Canal Fishing Derby wraps up on July 16th this year, so there’s still plenty of time to enter.

Word has it that some great entries have been made from the Medina and Albion area.

On Lake Alice fishing has slowed somewhat for bass and panfish but I know of one lad that is doing very well on carp off his grandfather’s dock.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County, let’s make everyday a great fishing day right here in Orleans County.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Orleans County Fishing Report – July 5, 2017

  • Fishing for a Cure starts July 15
  • Fishing is Good!

Today is Wednesday July 5, 2017.

The weather over the 4th couldn’t have been any better, but change is coming.  Rain is in the forecast for at least part of this weekend.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the level of Lake Ontario is supposed to drop about 6″ over the next month which will help a lot of our facilities.

A quick look at the LOC leader board shows the big salmon at 27 pounds already and the board is filling up quickly.

Fishing along the coastline of Orleans County has been good to very good over the past week or so producing good mixed bags of fish.

Perch, bass and northern pike are still being caught in the lower stretches of the “Oak”.

On Lake Alice, the one comment I got from one fishermen was “I didn’t know that there were that many jet skis in the world”. Bass fishing in the upper stretches of Lake Alice is producing some very nice fish.

Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew, “Fishing for a Cure for Juvenile Diabetes.”  The derby will take place on July 15th this year and will follow the best 3 fish format that is so popular.  The entry fee is $50.00 cash with half going to the prize structure and half to Juvenile Diabetes research.  This year you will be able to fish out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina but the weigh-in will take place at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.  You must be entered by 7 AM on the 15th and the weigh-In closes at 3PM so please don’t be late.  Please join us for a fun day of fishing while supporting this great cause.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Rapid-Adjustment Sight Leads the New Sight Lineup

RM_Driver_1-Pin_Sight

From their home in Superior, Wi., Rocky Mountain brand has roared back to life with the introduction of innovative new broadheads as well as a new lineup of archery sights.  Leading the sight lineup is the new Rocky Mountain Driver sight that can be adjusted for elevation quickly, easily, and very reliably.

Available in either a 1-pin or a 3-pin configuration, the Rocky Mountain Driver features hard-coat-anodized all-aluminum construction with a dovetail mount design.   The dovetail mount provides up to 3.3125 inches of sight-radius travel with six locking positions and allows for easy removal of the sight for transport and storage.  The Driver’s radial-arc elevation adjustment ensures fast and repeatable tuning to user-determined distances, while keeping the bezel square in relation to the eye.  Elevation adjustments are made via a large wheel on the side of the sight, and an adjustable reset block allows a quick return to the minimum-distance zero stop.

The Driver’s windage and pin elevation markers are laser etched, and the windage is tool-free micro-adjustable.  The 2nd and 3rd axes are also adjustable. The .019-inch fiber-optic pins are fully captured, and the pins are removable on the 3-pin version.  The bezel incorporates a bubble level, and a light adapter is built-in.

Available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.huntrockymountain.com, the new Driver 1-Pin and Driver 3-Pin rapid-adjustment sights have a suggested retail of $129.99 and $149.99, respectively.

Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Rocky Mountain is a wholly owned subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors.  Renowned for its fixed-blade technology since 1979, the Rocky Mountain brand was relaunched in 2017 and has expanded its offerings to other archery accessories including a line of archery sights.  For more information on Rocky Mountain, visit www.huntrockymountain.com; or write to 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; or call 866-387-9307.

RM_Driver_3-Pin_Sight

NSSF Announces 2017 Scholarship Winners

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) is the trade association for the firearms industry with a mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting, and the shooting sports.  The NSSF recently announced the 2017 scholarships that will award $60,000 to winners.

From Newtown, CT., the National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce that it has chosen the winners of its 2017 Voting Member Scholarship Essay Contest. Open to the employees and qualifying family members of NSSF’s Voting Member companies, the annual contest awards $60,000 divided between 25 winners, including one grand prize winner who receives $8,000 to apply toward their college costs. NSSF received a total of 66 qualified entries this year.

In refreshing this annual contest, NSSF offered two submission options for the scholarship program. The first option required a written essay, with specific formatting guidelines, on one of the following two topics:

·         How important is the U.S. Supreme Court to protecting the rights of American citizens to keep and bear arms?

·         Passing the Torch: A personal story of an experienced shooter or hunter passing traditions on to family and friends.

The second submission option required a written script designed to provide voiceover narration for a video (though no actual video submission was required). The three script topic choices were:

·         What hunting means to me and to wildlife conservation.

·         How learning to target shoot has benefitted me as a person.

·         What non-hunters would be surprised to learn about hunting.

Matthew Willey, whose mother is employed by Olin Corp., was chosen as the grand prize winner. Matthew will be a senior at St. Louis University this fall, was selected as the grand prize winner. For his scholarship submission, he chose to tackle the Supreme Court topic in traditional essay format. His essay in part read:

For the majority of the last 70 or so years, the most important Supreme Court ruling pertaining to the right to gun ownership was 1939’s United States v. Miller. In that case, an Arizona district court ruled that two men who had been indicted for transporting a sawed-off shotgun across state lines, should not have been indicted, as the regulations preventing them from legally transporting that firearm were unconstitutional. This decision was appealed to the Supreme Court, which chose to interpret the 2nd amendment as pertaining only to the regulation of a militia … . This ruling was the preeminent ruling concerning the 2nd amendment for the rest of the 20th century, and it set a damaging precedent to gun rights in this country.

Fortunately, things changed relatively recently. In 2008’s landmark case, District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court once again addressed the interpretation of the 2nd amendment. … In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court interpreted the second amendment as providing a right to self-protection.  It is important to remember here that in a common law system, a law must be enforced as it is interpreted by the courts. Therefore, whatever questions existed about the legal meaning of the 2nd amendment prior to District of Columbia v. Heller, the meaning is now clear and binding.

This is not to say that the battle for gun rights has emphatically been won. It is perfectly conceivable that in some future case the Supreme Court may revisit the 2nd amendment, and thus open the door to a new interpretation. Moreover, the ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller was not without its ambiguity, meaning that more challenges to gun rights may loom in the future. The one thing that is for certain is that if these challenges reach the Supreme Court, the decisions made by those nine justices will shape the law for the entire nation. Therefore, despite recent victories, it is vital that the Supreme Court be populated by men and women who respect the rights of gun owners. When it comes to the law, a strong Supreme Court is more powerful than any legislator, or any president.

Other winners included the $5,000 first place entrant, Nathan Huelsmann, who will be a senior at Missouri University of Science and Technology in the Fall and whose father also works for Olin, and the $3,000 second place winner Ian Murphy, will be a Junior at the Oregon Institute of Technology in the fall and whose father is employed by Sturm, Ruger & Co. Twenty-two other winners received $2,000 each for their successful entries. See the full list of scholarship recipients and the entire winning essay.

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

Orleans County Fishing Report – June 28, 2017

  • LOC Derby Starts June 30!
  • Weather Changes Has Affected Fishing Access

Today is Wednesday June 28, 2017.

Yesterday Mother Nature gave us cooler temperatures, wind, rain, waves and even a water spout on Lake Ontario, just to show us who is really in control.  With all of those conditions going on, fishing reports from Lady “O” are scarce right now.

Last reports have the fish moving farther out in the lake, but still producing a good mixed bag of fish.  Spoons are taking a back seat to the other fishing lure choices, such as flasher-fly combinations and meat rigs.

The rest of this week has thunder storms scattered through, but much warmer temperatures.

On the “Oak” at the Point, good catches of perch along with both large and smallmouth bass and northern pike are being reported.

Lake Alice is also producing good catches of both large and smallmouth bass, but the catches of panfish has dropped off slightly in the past week.

June 30th is the opening day for the Summer LOC Derby which runs the entire month of July, well except for the 31st.  Are you ready to try to collect some of the $29,000 in cash prizes this year?

July 15th will be the date for the Drew’s Crew Fishing for a cure of Juvenile Diabetes Derby this year and then July 22nd will be the second leg of the King of the Oak series.

A busy month with some great chances to cash in on some great fishing..

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

FWS to Aim (Again) for Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Delisting

  • Top panel of bear specialists recommends US Fish and Wildlife Service develop a new proposal to delist Yellowstone grizzly population.
Grizzly Bears exist in increasing numbers in Yellowstone. Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Photo

Recently (December), the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) unanimously recommended the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) put out a new proposal for removing grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone region from federal Endangered Species Act protections. The IGBC includes the top managers from every state and federal agency managing grizzlies and grizzly habitat.

More than 700 grizzlies now roam this corner of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, which covers more than 12 million acres in and around Yellowstone and Grand Teton National parks. More grizzlies live here now than inhabited the entire lower 48 states in 1975, a three-fold increase from the estimated 225 bears that roamed the Greater Yellowstone in 1981.

Grizzly numbers and range are also expanding in Montana’s Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem, where nearly 1,000 bears are now estimated to live. USFWS is looking at proposing the delisting of this population as well, and collected public comments for the post-delisting management plan in summer 2013. If the US Fish and Wildlife Service accepts the IGBC’s recommendation, as seems likely, it will issue a new proposed rule in the Federal Register. That will be followed by a multi-month public comment period. Given the time it will take to write and review the new rule, actual delisting likely will not occur until 2015.

The USFWS delisted grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone following similar recommendations in 2007, but lawsuits by environmental groups led the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to return the bears to endangered species protections two years later, citing questions raised about the decline of whitebark pines. The trees produce a protein-rich nut grizzly’s relish, but have declined as much as 70 percent in the Greater Yellowstone in recent years due to attacks by blister rust fungus and mountain pine beetles.

The USFWS then requested that the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team, led by experts at the US Geological Survey, review the relationship between grizzly bear population health and recent declines in whitebark pine. In December, the IGBC received the results of that review. Researchers found grizzlies that previously foraged on whitebark pine in the fall have turned to other food sources—meat, chief among them—and haven’t displayed any distinguishable loss of body fat in that exchange. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team also released statistics that show bear deaths within the region fell by half in 2013, while cub production remained high. In fact the number of female grizzlies with cubs in the Yellowstone ecosystem was the highest ever counted in 2013.

For more than two decades, researchers studying the chemical make-up of hair samples found that Yellowstone grizzlies are among the most carnivorous bear populations in North America’s interior, according to IGBC’s recent report. Depending on the age and sex of a bear, meat makes up anywhere from 45 to 79 percent of the protein in their diet. Whitebark pine nut production is cyclical, as is the case with huckleberries and other foods. Some years they are prolific while other years they produce very few. And so grizzly bears were already accustomed to dealing with such diet shifts, substituting animal protein in poor seed years. Recent studies have borne this out, showing grizzlies have been able to maintain fat levels equal to that of the best whitebark seed years. Chris Servheen, USFWS grizzly bear recovery coordinator and a spokesman for the IGBC, also points to grizzlies in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem (NCDC) as a population that has grown 3 percent per year for decades without the presence of whitebarks.

“Whitebark pine has been functionally extinct in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem for 30 years due to the impacts of white pine blister rust,” says Servheen.  In December, the IGBC said it felt confident the Greater Yellowstone’s grizzly population is adapting well to a similar change. “The sense of the committee is that there is no measurable negative impact on either individual grizzly bears or the grizzly population as a whole,” says Servheen. “Given that, the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee recommended that the USFWS should move forward and produce a new proposed delisting rule. The whitebark question was the only issue the 9th Circuit used to state that the Yellowstone grizzlies should not be delisted. The new analysis by the Study Team should address the concerns that the judges had about how declines in whitebark would impact the health of the Yellowstone grizzlies.” If recent history is any indication, it’s nearly guaranteed that new lawsuits from environmental groups will challenge any move by USFWS to delist, which may well return it to the chambers of a federal judge.

“I’m sure we’ll go through the legal knothole again,” says Servheen.

RMEF’s take: The booming populations of grizzlies in both the Greater Yellowstone and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems represent the Endangered Species Act doing exactly what it was intended to do: help imperiled species recover. That’s no simple task, especially when that animal can weigh a thousand pounds and roam 100 square miles or more. But the top bear biologists in America unanimously agree that we have achieved healthy, growing and sustainable grizzly populations. Instead of celebrating this success, though, the same serial litigators that overturned the Yellowstone ecosystem grizzly delisting in 2009 are loading their legal cannons for yet another round of lawsuits. This not only undercuts the letter of the law, it betrays all the sportsmen and diverse communities that have provided funding and other real forms of support to this recovery effort for decades. RMEF fully supports the conclusions of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee: delisting is long overdue in the greater Yellowstone.

Want to Help? You can help fuel one of America’s most effective conservation movements! Our members, donors and partners have helped conserve more than 7 million acres of elk country – a land area more than three times the size of Yellowstone National Park! The vast majority of that land is open for public hunting and other recreation, for you as well as the generations that will come after you.  But, each day, more wild places disappear. There is much work to do.  Elk, other wildlife, their habitat and America’s hunting heritage need your help. Please join RMEF today! Different membership levels are available. You’re welcome to join online by using the form (https://jrd.rmef.org/howtohelp/join), or by calling (800) 225-5355, Mon – Fri, 8 AM – 5 PM Mountain Time.

Orleans County Fishing Report – June 21, 2017

  • Orleans County King Salmon ARE BACK!
  • Lake Alice good with Smallmouth and Largemouth
  • Fishing-For-A-Cure Tourney Coming Up, July 15

Today is Wednesday June 21, 2017.

Occasional rain and thunderstorms are in the forecast into next week, along with more seasonal temperatures.

On Lake Ontario, the king of the lake – Chinook salmon, have made their presence known in a big way.  Fishing in the 100 feet of water range has been very productive all along the shoreline of Orleans County.  Most fish are being taken in the lower portions of the water column, from 60 feet down and with a mixture of lure combinations but cut bait seems to be the most productive.  Some lake trout and steelhead are also being caught, but not in the numbers of the kings.

Near the mouth of Oak Orchard Creek (the “Oak”), perch and bass fishing is good to very good.

Lake Alice is producing some decent numbers of both Largemouth and Smallmouth bass along with a combination of panfish.

I haven’t had a good report from the Erie Canal fishermen as of yet.

Returning again this year is the Drew’s Crew – “Fishing for a Cure” for Juvenile Diabetes.  The derby will take place on July 15th this year and will follow the best 3-fish format that is so popular.  The entry fee is $50.00 cash with half going to the prize structure and half to Juvenile Diabetes research.  This year you will be able to fish out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina, but the weigh-in will take place at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina.  You must be entered by 7AM on the 15th and the weigh-In closes at 3PM so please don’t be late.  Please join us for a fun day of fishing while supporting this great cause.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

6 Tips to Prevent Tragedy or Death at a Boat Slip – From BoatUS

  • Never Swim Near Boat Docks that have Electrical Power.
  • Freshwater Docks are More Dangerous than Saltwater Docks.
  • Someone in Trouble? Shut Down Power to Dock First.
  • Follow this Rule: “Reach, Throw, Row, but DON’T GO.”
Swimming near boat docks with electrical power can be deadly. Read what you need to know. Forrest Fisher Photo

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The fatalities over the weekend of an 11-year-old girl in New Jersey and 19-year-old young man in Ohio are bringing scrutiny to an age-old summer ritual that’s common on waterfronts across America: swimming near boat docks.  Initial reports say the youngster died when touching a dock’s electrified boatlift, and the Ohio teen died as a result of dangerous electrical current in the water while trying to save his father and family dog that also appeared to be stricken by the electrical current.

The BoatUS Foundation, the boating-safety arm of the nations’ largest recreational boat owners group, has some tips to prevent an electrocution tragedy.  While swimming deaths due to electricity fall into two categories, electrocution and electric shock drowning (ESD), both can be prevented the same way.  Electrocution can happen in freshwater or saltwater, when swimmers make contact with energized metal dock fittings, boats or other structures due to faulty alternating current (AC) wiring.

ESD occurs when AC gets into freshwater from faulty wiring and passes through a swimmer, causing paralysis or even sudden death.  Unlike electrocution, with ESD a swimmer does not need to be touching a boat or dock structure, and even minute amounts of electricity can be incapacitating and lead to drowning.  The risk of ESD is greatest in freshwater or brackish water, so some areas such as estuaries or rivers may only be in the danger zone after heavy rains.

In saltwater, electrical current takes the path of least resistance, bypassing swimmers. Unlike a drowning swimmer, who typically can’t yell out for help because their mouth is mostly underwater, an ESD victim is often confused about what is happening, may be able to shout, and will feel numbness, tingling, pain and paralysis.  Tingling in the swimmer’s body is one of the early warning signs of ESD.

What can you do to prevent an electrocution or ESD fatality? Here are 6 tips:

  1. Never Swim around boat docks that use electricity.
  2. Post “no swimming” signs.
  3. Have a qualified electrician with experience in dock electrical service inspect your private dock annually.
  4. Install ground-fault protection on your boat and private dock.
  5. Ask your marina if they have installed ground-fault protection, and if the electrical system is inspected and tested annually-just in case someone falls overboard. No one should ever swim in a marina

    Swimmers near boat docks can be affected and shocked in the water near to the dock because of this technical wiring deficiency. Courtesy of BOATUS
  6. Periodically test your boat for electrical leakage into the water. What do you do if you see a distressed person in the water near a boat dock?

A drowning victim often looks “playful,” while an electric shock drowning victim looks “distressed.”  It may be difficult, however, to immediately determine either, so play it safe by not jumping in.  The first task is to shut off power to the dock at the breaker panel, and if equipped, disconnect any power cable to the vessel.

If power cannot be shut down, follow the “reach, throw, row, but don’t go” mantra by using an oar, boat hook or throw a floatation device to reach the stricken person.

For more information, parents, dock owners, boaters, and marina and boat club operators can go to the BoatUS Electric Shock Drowning Resource Center at www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy/ESD.

See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/406710#sthash.hku6iXil.dpuf.

Lake of the Woods Muskie Season Opens Saturday

  • Musky Season Opens Saturday, June 17, 2017
  • Minnesota and Ontario Seasons Open Together
  • Helpful Links for More Info
Jean-Paul-Tessier with a nice musky from Lake of the Woods.

Musky fishing exciting!  There is always one place where you can almost always find cooperative fish that will provide an exciting trip.

Any muskie hunter knows that Lake of the Woods is one of the best fisheries of muskie.  Anglers come for miles around to fish our trophy waters.  So make your plans as the 2017 muskie opener on Lake of the Woods for both the Minnesota and Ontario sides of the lake begins this weekend, Saturday, June 17th.

Lake of the Woods is a world class muskie fishery with over 65,000 miles of shoreline and 14,552 islands.

The majority of muskie anglers are catch and release.  Many resorts, especially at the NW Angle specialize in muskie guides.  These muskie nuts keep a good handle on fish movement, lure preference, colors and areas muskies are prevalent.  It is also a great way to save time really learning the nuances of becoming a better muskie angler.  Check out a list of NW Angle Resorts who can set you up with some of the best guides in the business.

For those that just love the sport, here are some tips on safely practicing catch and release:

Careful Handling Makes Catch & Release Successful

A big muskie is an old muskie.  Females require 14 to 17 years to reach 30 pounds.  Northern pike grow even more slowly.  Once taken out of the water and hung on a wall or carved into fillets, a trophy is not soon replaced by another fish of its size.  So, the key to creating trophy northern pike and muskie fishing is catch-and-release angling.  Unfortunately, some fish are mortally injured by improper handling and cannot be successfully released.

All northern pike and muskie are difficult to handle because of their slippery hides, lack of good handles and sharp teeth.  Big fish are particularly troublesome because of their great size and power.

The first step to successfully releasing fish is to use artificials rather than live bait.  The second step is to keep the fish in the water if at all possible.

Caught on artificials and handled carefully, nearly all fish can be returned with no permanent injury.  Here are some effective methods, courtesy of Muskie Canada, for handling large northern pike and muskie:

·         Hand Release.  Grip the fish over the back, right behind the gills (never by the eye sockets!) and hold it without squeezing it. With the other hand, use a pliers to remove the hooks, while leaving all but the head of the fish in the water.  Sometimes hooks can be removed with the pliers only; the fish need never be touched.

·         Landing Net.  Hooks can be removed from some fish even as they remain in the net in the water. If that’s not possible, lift the fish aboard and remove the hooks while the fish is held behind the head and around the tail. To better restrain large fish, stretch a piece of cloth or plastic over the fish and pin it down as if it were in a straight jacket.

·         Stretcher.  A stretcher is made of net or porous cloth about 2 to 3 feet wide stretched between two poles. As you draw the fish into the cradle and lift, the fold of the mesh supports and restrains the fish. This method requires two anglers.

·         Tailer.  Developed by Atlantic salmon anglers, a tailer is a handle with a loop at one end that is slipped over the fish’s tail and tightened. The fish is thus securely held, though the head must be further restrained before the hooks are removed.

If you must lift a big fish from the water, support as much of its body as possible to avoid injuring its internal organs.

Never grip a fish by the eye sockets if you intend to release it.  By doing so you abrade its eyes, injure the surrounding tissue and may cause blindness.

Muskie anglers are a very passionate breed, often fishing from dawn to dusk.  They also have the deepest respect for muskies and overall do an excellent job of making sure these ultimate predators return to the water unharmed.

Best of luck to all muskie anglers not only this weekend but this year.  The muskies have been active this spring, are in good numbers and should be active.

For lots more info on where to fish, guides and lodging:

  1.  Web: https://lakeofthewoodsmn.com/
  2. Phone: 1-800-382-FISH (3474)
  3. Email: info@lakeofthewoodsmn.com
  4. US Mail: Lake of the Woods Tourism, PO Box 518, Baudette, MN, 56623

All photographs and information: Lake of the Woods Tourism Bureau.

Orleans County Fishing Report – June 14, 2017

  • Orleans County Lake Ontario Open Winners
  • Unpredictable Weather Affecting Lake Patterns
  • Bluegills & Bass at Lake Alice

Today is Wednesday June 14, 2017.

First I would like to congratulate the top 3 finishers in the Orleans County Open Tournament, Ed Monette of team Cannonball Runner, Vince Pierleoni of team Thrillseeker and Dave Siegfried of team Tracker.  The weather threw everything at the 31 teams in the tournament this past week and weekend and all of the teams still came out winners, in my opinion.

Off and on Thunder storms are predicted over the next week, and even with more seasonal temperatures, should set things up for more unpredictable weather.

Fishing near the mouth of the “Oak” is producing good numbers of White bass, Perch, Pike and Bass, which by the way bass season opens this Saturday.

On Lake Alice the catches have mainly been Bluegills and Bass, especially around the fallen trees.

On Lake Ontario it’s been anyone’s guess where the fish will be with the ever-changing weather conditions.

One interesting thing is that spoons are not producing a well as some type of flasher and fly, or cut bait, rigs presently, but that could change quickly.

Also with the weather conditions the fish are scattered throughout the water column and from 100 feet of water on out.

We can only hope for some more stable weather to allow the lake to set up again and fishing to return to somewhat more normal patterns.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Ruger Mark IV Pistol Recall Notice – Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Issues Safety Warning

Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (NYSE-RGR) announced (June 07, 2017) that it is recalling all Mark IV™ pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017.  Ruger recently discovered that the pistols have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly.

In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the “safe” and “fire” positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the “fire” position, the pistol may fire at that time.

Although only a small percentage of Mark IV pistols appear to be affected and the Company is not aware of any injuries, Ruger is firmly committed to safety and would like to retrofit all potentially affected pistols with an updated safety mechanism.

As a responsible manufacturer, Ruger wants to make its customers aware of this FREE safety upgrade. All Mark IV pistols with serial numbers beginning with “401” (2017 models) or “WBR” (2016 models) are subject to the recall. Mark IV owners should visit the Mark IV Recall website at Ruger.com/MarkIVRecall to look up the serial number of their Mark IV and verify if it is subject to the recall, sign up for the recall, and obtain additional information.

The new parts are being built and Ruger will retrofit Mark IV pistols on a first-come, first-served basis. When Ruger is ready to retrofit a consumer’s pistol, a prepaid USPS box with a shipping label and detailed packaging and shipping instructions will be sent to the consumer.

The consumer should return only the grip frame assembly to Ruger. Ruger will install the updated safety mechanism, and return the grip frame assembly, free of charge. All retrofitted grip frame assemblies will be returned with a free magazine as a “thank you” for consumers’ patience and cooperation. The Company will make every effort to return each pistol within one week of the day it arrives at Ruger.

Ruger strongly recommends that consumers not use their Mark IV pistols until the safety retrofit has been installed.

 

 

NYSDEC Eastern Lake Erie Fishing Report – June 10, 2017

Lake Erie and Harbors

Fishing from a very windy Sunset Bay in Irving, NY, retired Charter Captain Bob Rustowicz and teammates, caught a few walleye from Day 1 of the Southtowns walleye Association Tournament in Lake Erie.

The night bite along the nearshore reefs has fallen off. Most walleye anglers are now targeting daylight hours and catches have been slowly improving in 40-60 feet of water near major spawning areas. Productive methods include trolling with worm harnesses or stickbaits just off the bottom, or by slow trolling (1 mph or less) with a bottom bouncing rig and worm harness. Working deeper edges off the walleye spawning structures is also worth a try. Some walleye anglers are still doing well at night off the Buffalo Harbor’s outer breakwalls out to 30 feet of water, with a few catches inside the harbor as well. There have been some decent yellow perch catches recently out of Cattaraugus Creek starting in 60 feet of water. Anglers fishing in around 50 feet of water report plenty of nuisance goby. Live emerald shiners fished near the bottom work best for perch.

Smallmouth bass are still available in and around Lake Erie harbors and their breakwalls. Early this week, Dunkirk Harbor anglers were catching between 15-35 smallmouth per outing. On Lake Erie, depths of 20-30 feet of water over rocky shoals has recently been productive. Good spots to try include Myers Reef, Seneca Shoal, Evans Bar and Van Buren Reef. Many smaller reefs, rock piles and humps will hold bass as well. Tube jigs, jigs with twister tails, deep diving stickbaits, live minnows and crayfish are good bass baits. For more information see the Smallmouth Bass Fishing on Lake Erie page.

Lake Erie Tributaries

Some smallmouth bass are still available in the Lake Erie tributaries. However, with low and warming waters in the small to medium streams, the bite is fading. Best chances for bass is in the lower end of Cattaraugus Creek.

Upper Niagara River

Smallmouth bass catches are on the rise around Grand Island. Bass fishing is by catch and release only, artificial lures only in the Niagara River north of the Peace Bridge, until the regular season opens on third Saturday in June.

Chautauqua Lake

Musky fishing along weedlines has been productive since the season opened. Good techniques include trolling large stickbaits along weed edges or casting stickbaits over weed beds and retrieving towards open water. There has been some decent walleye fishing during daylight hours. One group caught a bunch of keepers in 15-18 feet of water by drifting with bottom bouncing rig and worm harness and by trolling (1.3 mph) with harnesses or deep diving stickbaits. See the Fishing for Walleye page for more information. Yellow perch and sunfish seem to biting well lake-wide inside of 10 feet of water. Perch catches are also good in deeper areas.

Inland Trout Streams

Trout streams throughout the region are in great shape with moderate flows. Warming water temps also have more bug and fish feeding activity at the surface. Sub-surface nymphs are good bets early in the day, while dry flies can be productive in the afternoon. Look for hatches of March browns, sulphurs, caddis flies and stone flies on the streams that have them. Productive offerings for spinning anglers include worms, salted minnows and small inline spinners. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from. In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region’s best trout streams. Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

All of Region 9’s trout stocking waters have been stocked with all of designated stocking increments. For County lists of stocked waters check the Spring Trout Stocking 2017 page. Hatchery staff stocked some surplus two-year-old brown trout in the following waters between May 23rd and 26th: Genesee River – 400 brown trout from Wellsville to PA border; Cattaraugus Creek – 400 brown trout in Erie and Wyoming Counties; Cohocton River – 275 brown trout; Oatka Creek – 275 brown trout.

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for the Genesee River during 2017, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. The diarist program aims to record data for trout and bass fishing trips on the Genesee River from the Pennsylvania line downstream through Letchworth State Park from March 1st through October 31st, 2017.

If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to contribute your observations by keeping a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 379-6372 or email fwfish9@dec.ny.gov.

More Information:

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.

Browning’s New Cynergy CX Shotguns Are Designed For Multiple Shooting Disciplines

Gun owners looking for an over and under shotgun they can use for everything from trap, skeet, sporting clays and upland bird and small game hunting will want to take a look at the new Cynergy CX shotgun from Browning.

Two models of the Cynergy CX are available, the Cynergy CX with a wood stock and the Cynergy CX Composite Charcoal model. Both models have a 60/40 point of impact (POI) and a light, nimble feel to please the most demanding shooters, both on the range and in the field.

The Cynergy CX is available with 30” or 32” barrels. The Cynergy CX model has a Grade 1 walnut stock with an Inflex recoil pad. The CX Composite model has a charcoal gray composite stock with black rubber overmolding in the grip areas and an Inflex Technology recoil pad.

Additional features:

  • ·         Steel silver nitride finished engraved receiver
  • ·         Ultra-low profile
  • ·         MonoLock hinge
  • ·         Lightweight profile
  • ·         Ventilated top and side ribs
  • ·         Floating top rib
  • ·         Matte blued finish
  • ·         Vector Pro lengthened forcing cones
  • ·         Three Invector-Plus Midas Grade choke tubes
  • ·         Adjustable length of pull
  • ·         Ivory front and mid-bead sights

Suggested retail prices:

  • ·         Cynergy CX – $1,739.99
  • ·         Cynergy CX Composite Charcoal Grey – $1,699.99

For more information on Browning products, please visit the website at www.browning.com.

Super Clean® Adds a .45 ACP Offering to Its Lineup

Super Clean ammunition features zinc-core brass-jacketed bullets and are completely lead-free, both airborne and downrange, for the ultimate in indoor range performance and safety.

With more recreational pistol shooters than ever before and more interest among those shooters in becoming better prepared and more proficient behind the trigger, Winchester Ammunition continues to answer the demand for better performing, yet affordable ammunition options when it comes to training at the range. Enter the brand’s Super Clean line, which in 2017, will add a .45 ACP offering to the lineup.

 

 

 

Offerings now include:

  • .45 ACP – 160 gr.
  • 9 mm Luger – 90-gr.
  • .40 S&W – 120-gr.

Super Clean ammunition features zinc-core brass-jacketed bullets and are completely lead-free, both airborne and downrange, for the ultimate in indoor range performance and safety. Super Clean comes 50 rounds per box.

“Winchester is committed to delivering more value-priced lead-free centerfire product options that are ideal for use on indoor ranges as the number of shooters visiting these ranges grows around the country. As one of the most popular rounds among handgun shooters, this latest .45 ACP ammunition is a testament to that commitment,” said Matt Campbell, Winchester Ammunition vice president of marketing and sales.

View a video about the Super Clean 2017 Handgun Ammunition.

View all of the product details about the new .45 ACP Ammunition.

About Winchester Ammunition: A world leader in delivering innovative products, Winchester is The American Legend, a brand built on integrity, hard work and a deep focus on its loyal customers. Learn more about the history of Winchester by visiting www.winchester.com or connect with us on Facebook at Facebook.com/WinchesterOfficial.  Winchester Ammunition is a proud supporter of the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe. For more information on the Own It? Respect It. Secure It. Initiative™, please log on to: www.NSSF.org/ORS.

Orleans County Fishing Report – May 31, 2017

  • Alice Lake Crappie and Bluegill on the Bite
  • Lake Ontario Salmon Contests just Ahead
  • Captain’s Cove New Office OPEN

The up and down temperatures should continue at least through the middle of June according to the weather forecasters. The water levels on Lake Ontario are not expected to start dropping until the end of June at the earliest. Now that we have that out of the way, the good news is that Lake Ontario is open for the business of fishing and the signs are right for another great season.

Indications from the early trawls seem to show plenty of bait and the mild winter has contributed to that plus a longer season for growth of our sportfish.

Our marinas are hard at work raising their docks to combat the higher water levels.  Captain’s Cove has their new office and tackle shop open at the top of the hill and Bald Eagle has operations in full swing.

The cooler temperatures and some East/Northeast winds have slowed the eastern progression of Chinook salmon just a bit, but that means that they will be bigger by the time they move this far East.

On Lake Alice catches of both Bluegill and Crappie are being taken, as well as bass, but please remember that bass are catch and release until the 3rd Saturday in June.

Information on the fishing in Lake Ontario out of Orleans County is slowing a bit due to the Condor Derby on the 9th of June and then the Orleans County Open Tournament on the 10th and 11th this year.

By the way this year you can fish this great tournament out of either Point Breeze or Bald Eagle Marina.

Lastly, please be mindful of the high-water conditions and slow to idle speed when entering and exiting our harbors and when close to our shoreline.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

3 MYTHS ABOUT BARK-CONTROL COLLARS

By SportDOG Staff

Reliability, simplicity, and effectiveness are among the reasons to use a bark-control collar, as well as why they’ve become increasingly more common with dog owners in recent years.

However, when the electronic bark-control collar was first introduced, questions and skepticism regarding its use were brought up by multiple sources. Over time, doubts and concerns regarding no bark collars decreased as users became more familiar with the concept behind the design.

Today, these collars are widely accepted as a common training tool for dog owners. Despite their widespread acceptance, a few common misconceptions remain.

SportDOG® Brand, a leader in the design and manufacturing of some the most dependable and trusted dog-training products and accessories, has taken on the call to answer some of these remaining questions. With over a decade of experience, SportDOG has become a trusted source of information with both dog owners and professional trainers.

Here’s 3 of the most common misconceptions regarding the use of electronic bark-control collars, as encountered by the SportDOG team.

Using a Bark Collar Will Prevent My Dog From Ever Barking Again

To some pet owners, this notion can be concerning, as most don’t set out to keep their dogs quiet at all times. Whether it’s the verbal behavior their dog exhibits when playing with others, or alerting them when needed, such as a knock at the door, completely silencing their dog is not the owner’s end goal.

While it’s true that the purpose of a bark-control collar is to curb unwanted outbursts, the effects of the collar are not permanent. Should the owner want their dog to be capable of barking, he or she can simply remove the collar. Over time, the dog will begin to associate its behavior with the collar. With features like 3 selectable modes and 10 levels of static stimulation found in the SportDOG NoBark SBC-R, owners can customize the anti-bark collar to fit their dog’s specific needs, making the transition process even easier.

A Bark Collar Should Be Worn 24/7

If worn for more than the recommended amount of time, any kind of electronic collar can be dangerous to a dog’s health. This health concern doesn’t originate from the static stimulation delivered to the dog, but through the possibility of pressure necrosis.

Simply said, pressure necrosis is trauma to a dog’s skin (calluses, sores, etc.) that develops as a result of the collar remaining on for an extended period of time. This is caused by human error, and is not a failure of the collar. To prevent this, the collar must be properly fit to the dog’s neck, and rotated to different positions when used for long periods throughout the day. If the collar is too tight, continual pressure from the contact points (i.e. probes) can restrict blood flow to the tissue underneath, causing it to breakdown and deteriorate. Consequently, if the collar is too loose, it can be easily rotated around the neck or moved vertically as the dog raises or lowers its head. In either circumstance, owners need to make sure the collar is properly adjusted and remove the collar if worn longer than recommended, which is generally 8-10 hours per day. When removed, the probes of the collar should also be cleaned with alcohol wipes every 1-2 days to prevent bacteria from developing.

Bark Collars Aren’t Safe To Use on Dogs

Since the introduction of the electronic bark-control collar, one of the earliest misconceptions regarding its use is that it’s not safe for dogs. Many owners were concerned that the amount of static stimulation delivered would be too much for the dog to endure, or cause irreconcilable harm. Again, this is simply not true. SportDOG has gone to considerable lengths to make sure that each of its collars is perfectly safe for use on dogs. Through extensive research and development process and by using the most advanced technology available, SportDOG collars are considered to be among the safest designs on the market.

During its development of the company’s latest NoBark collar, the SBC-R, SportDOG incorporated 10 levels of static stimulation as well as 3 programmable modes: Temperament Learning, Progressive Correction and User-Selected. The new collar also has a built in safety feature ensuring that if your dog barks 15 times or more within an 80 second period, the SBC-R will stop issuing static stimulation for 30 seconds, and then resume normal operation. Combining these standard features along with a waterproof and submersible housing makes the SBC-R one of the safest collars on the market.

For more information on the SportDOG line of products, as well as the recently released NoBark SBC-R, visit www.sportdog.com.

May 24, 2017 – Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

Today is Wednesday – May 24, 2017

  • Condor Derby: June 9
  • Orleans County Open: June 10-11
  • Bald Eagle Marina Open for Launching

Rain off and on will not help the water level in Lake Ontario any time soon.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers the Lake Ontario water level is still more than 30 inches above normal for this time of year, but the level is not expected to go any higher over the next week.  Does this mean that we may start seeing a drop in water levels in the very near future?

When boats get out on Lake Ontario good catches of both Chinook salmon and Lake trout are being reported out in 250 to 300 feet of water, but watch out for those white sand bags that are floating out there in the trash line.

Just a reminder that the Orleans County Open Tournament will be held on June 10th and 11th this year with the Condor Derby taking place on June 9th.  This year there are two great ports to fish out of, Point Breeze and Bald Eagle Marina.  You really don’t want to miss out on this great event.

The water level on Lake Alice has started to drop and the water clarity is improving by the day.  White bass seems to be plentiful especially around the Kenyonville Bridge area.  Rock bass, Bluegill, Crappie, Yellow perch and bass are harder to come by, but decent catches can be had if you’re willing to work for them.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Finding Your True Draw Length

Most important bow buying decision…

By Larry Wise, International Champion Target and Field Archer, and International Coach

The most important decision, by far, when buying a bow is getting the right draw length. Without the proper knowledge and some expert advice, the novice – and even some experienced archers – have made disastrous mistakes.  Knowing your true draw length is as important to your shooting success as knowing your shoe size is to your walking comfort.  When the shoe doesn’t fit, you feel miserable until you change it.  Same with an improperly fitted bow.

The most accurate method of measuring true draw length is to draw the bow of a friend who is about the same arm length as you.  You must consider whether or not you plan to shoot the same style as your friend, i.e., with a release aid or fingers only.  Release aids generally act as an extension of your fingers and cause the string to be drawn a shorter distance than when drawn using a finger tab.  This difference can be as much as two inches.

With this in mind, draw the bow in the style you plan to use and try to get comfortable with an anchor.  This may take some experimenting if you are a beginning archer.  A local dealer or an experienced archer can help at this point.

After you have drawn the bow several times and feel somewhat comfortable, draw again with an arrow in the bow.  When you reach the anchor that seems comfortable, have someone mark the arrow adjacent to the rest mounting hole in the handle riser.  This mark should be directly above the grip where your hand touches the deepest part of the handle.  The distance from this mark to the recess in the nock is your true draw length.  It is a measurement of your body size for the purpose of drawing a compound bow.

BEWARE!  Most bow manufacturers do not advertise or take orders using true draw measurements.  Instead, they use a traditional draw length which is slightly longer than true draw.  The difference is the distance from the plunger hole to the back of the handle riser.  This adds about 1-3/4 inches to the true draw measurement.  This gives us the following relationship:

Traditional Draw = True Draw + 1-3/4 inches

Please keep in mind that your arrow length must be longer than your true draw length so the arrow point extends beyond your arrow rest.  How much longer depends upon you and your purpose.  If you intend to shoot broadheads, then your arrow length must be longer than your traditional draw length with this bow so the broadhead is not drawn into the handle riser or your fingers.  The tournament arrow must extend only past the arrow rest at full draw.

_______________________________________

This article is reprinted courtesy of Target Communications as part of an educational program for outdoors readers.  It is excerpted from the Pre-Use Bow Preparation chapter of TUNING YOUR COMPOUND BOW, a 152-page how-to book by Larry Wise, International Champion Target and Field Archer, and International Coach.  Learn more at targetcommbooks.com

________________________________________

LARRY WISE

Larry has been a competitive archer since 1979, been on several bow manufacturers shooting and advisory staffs, and has done design consulting. His professional record shows 38 individual or team 1st Place/Championship titles, 11 2nd place finishes and four 3rd or 4th place.

He has coached archery in New Zealand, Australia, Columbia, Israel, England, N. Ireland, Dubai and the U.S.  He has bow hunted since 1956 and put many whitetails on his den walls. He has given more than 300 “Tuning Your Compound Bow” seminars in 20 states.  He has written five books on bow set-up and tuning.

Since 2004, Larry has coached more than 300 individuals privately, written and edited a national archery coaches study course, taught national level coaches courses, written more than 50 magazine articles, coached the U.S. archery team at the 2005 World Indoor Championships (winning 13 medals, including seven gold).

Nockturnal introduces the FIT Universal Lighted Nock

  • Fits X, GT, S and H diameter arrows
  • 20 hour lithium ion battery, Easy switch off
  • Weight: 25 grains

Serious hunters take note.  Nockturnal continues to take all the guesswork out of adding the benefit of lighted nocks to your quiver with the introduction of its new FIT universal-lighted nock designed to fit X, GT, S and H diameter arrows.

Color choice options include Red, Green or a patent-pending Red/Green Strobe.

The Nockturnal FIT includes Nock Collar adapter sleeves in three different sizes, simplifying equipment selection and making color choice—either Red, Green or a patent-pending Red/Green Strobe—the only real shopping decision.

The Nockturnal FIT features ultra-strong, impact resistant, clear-polycarbonate nock construction encapsulating the super-bright red, green or red/green strobing LEDs that are activated by a patented string-activated, piston-driven contact switch. Like all Nockturnal nocks, the FIT is guaranteed to activate immediately when the string is released, and it can be switched off quickly and easily with the Nockturnal Nock Tool, a small screwdriver or most broadhead tips via an opening in the side of the nock.

With a base nock sized for X arrows, Nocturnal FIT nocks are packaged in a three-pack that also includes three Nock Collars for each nock that fit tightly to GT, S and H arrows. Each Nock Collar is marked with its intended arrow diameter, and once fully seated on the FIT, the adapter sleeve and nock become locked together for absolute reliability.

With well in excess of 20 hours of lithium battery life, each Nockturnal FIT will remain brightly lit for plenty of time for arrow retrieval and can be easily spotted in daylight hours as well as at night. The Red/Green Strobe Fit nock alternates 400 times a minute between the two colors.

Weighing around 25 grains, each Nockturnal FIT is waterproof and shockproof, and a three-pack with adapters retails for $34.99. The FIT nocks are available at retailers nationwide or conveniently online at www.nockturnal.com.

Headquartered in Superior, Wis., Nockturnal is a leading designer and manufacturer of lighted nocks for arrows and crossbow bolts. Nockturnal’s unique, patented, bow-string-activated, piston-driven assembly ensures LED illumination every time. Nockturnal nocks feature super-bright LEDs and long-life lithium batteries for superior illumination that lasts. Nockturnal also manufactures the Predator line of lighted crossbow bolts. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of FeraDyne Outdoors, LLC. For more information on the company or its products, visit www.nockturnal.com; or write to Nockturnal, 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; or call 866-387-9307.

 

The Eagle Has Landed

By Robin Jenkins, DVM

Peace River Wildlife Center received a frantic call from a landscaper recently.  A baby eagle had walked into his open equipment trailer and was just hanging around.  He had tried to shoo it away, but it wouldn’t leave.  I asked him to take a picture with his cell phone and send it to me. 

To his credit, the gentleman was no less concerned about the bird’s health when I explained that it was actually a fancy racing pigeon, not an eagle.  We sent a rescuer to pick up the uninjured bird—it was probably just exhausted after being buffeted by strong winds.  Luckily, we were able to locate the bird’s owner and return it to him.

So, when we got another call about two male eagles fighting in midair at the other end of the county, we took the call with a grain of salt.  But multiple calls from the same area confirmed that there may actually be something to the story.  Then another caller claimed that an eagle was walking around their lawn and seemed injured.

Our favorite snow bird husband-and-wife rescue team, Barb and Tom Taylor, were dispatched to check out the situation.  Quite often in these cases, as soon as the bird is approached, it takes flight.  End of story.  This time, the bird ran into some heavy scrub, evidently not willing or able to fly away.  So Tom, in his infinite wisdom (and short pants), dove into the jagged palmettos after the bird, and a wacky race ensued.  Tom’s shins were shredded, but he caught the bird.

It turns out it was an adult female eagle.  Since this is the end of breeding season for these large raptors, she may have been defending her territory or nest from an invading neighbor.  She had suffered deep puncture wounds on her legs and a crack on her beak.  X-rays (with our beautiful new digital x-ray machine; hooray!  Thank you, donors!)  showed the crack at the caudal edge of her beak was superficial.  After a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs for her leg lesions, she was healing quite well.

The eagle was taken to our 100-foot flight cage to make sure she was capable of flight.  She was flying fine, although she walked around the cage like a little old lady—actually, like me after a recent reminder that the law of gravity applies to everyone.  She minced and limped with every step.  Obviously, her legs were still sore, but the wounds were healing and there was no evidence of infection.  After a few days of strength training in the flight cage, she was given thumbs-up for release.

Bald eagle beak fracture after territorial dispute.

Although her wounds were not completely healed, we wanted to get her back out to her home as soon as possible.  Like most wild animals, she will complete the healing process much faster at home than under the additional stress of being in captivity.  She may have had a family waiting for her there, although any offspring should have been old enough by this time of year to be okay without her for a few days.  And presumably, Dad would have been there to babysit in her absence.  And we all know how much Dads appreciate being left alone with the kiddos while Mom goes to the spa for a few days of rest and relaxation. 

There are many ways for you to help us at Peace River Wildlife Center, please review this link and add your name to our webpage newsletter. http://peaceriverwildlifecenter.org/donate/.

 

Palaniuk EARNS Bassmaster Win Using Storm® Arashi™ Top Walker & VMC® Hooks

Brandon Palaniuk covered Sam Rayburn Reservoir from “three foot to 30 foot” with three baits to win his third Bassmaster Elite Series tournament, weighing four 5-fish limits for a combined weight of 93 pounds, 12 ounces. Edging out the runner-up by 2 pounds, the Idaho pro caught all his fish on a Storm® Arashi™ Top Walker lure and two bait rigs armed and anchored with VMC® hooks and weights.

And although he conceded it “sounds crazy,” Palaniuk caught all his biggest fish on the smallest thing he offered them – a Neko Rig comprising a 1/0 VMC Weedless Neko Hook, a 3/16th oz. Half Moon Wacky Weight and a 5-inch finesse worm.

“It’s what I caught all my big fish on this week,” said Palaniuk, a VMC pro and seven-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “Every fish I caught over 8 pounds this week came on a Neko Rig.”

VMC’s Half Moon Wacky Weight is mushroom-shaped and features a long, ribbed shank designed to embed in – and stay put in – one end of a soft-plastic worm. The Weedless Neko Hook is a new VMC finesse offering that won’t be for sale until after July, when it will be officially unveiled at ICAST, the sport-fishing industry’s largest tradeshow.

Weedless Neko Hooks feature a black-nickel finish, a wide gap, 3-degree offset point, a resin-closed eye and a forged, long shank. They’re available in four sizes: 2, 1, 1/0 and 2/0. What makes them weedless is a unique snag-guard made from two heavy-duty fluorocarbon bristles.

Unlike wire, the 50-pound-test fluorocarbon bristles guarding a Weedless Neko Hook are practically invisible to fish. They also protect the hook from the kind of submerged trees and brush that Palaniuk was fishing on Sam Rayburn.

Palaniuk’s confidence in his Weedless Neko Hook’s ability to avoid snags paid off early, when he caught an 8-pound, 4-ounce largemouth out of a submerged tree on the first of the tournament’s four days of competition. Without that confidence, he might not have tried a finesse offering around sunken trees as a follow-up to his Texas Rig (5/0 VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook, ½ oz. VMC Tungsten Flippin’ Weight and 10-inch plum-colored worm).

Palaniuk’s third “key” bait was a Storm Arashi Top Walker, a topwater lure that walks-the-dog with ease. “Every single day I caught a big one on it,” he said.

When the Top Walker was first released last year, Palaniuk predicted he’d enjoy great success with it. “It’s the best walk-the-dog bait by far now,” he said then. “It’s going to up my odds of putting more fish in the boat.”

Top Walker Calls ‘Em In
Storm’s Arashi Top Walker strides true even when retrieved fast, having been purpose-built to eliminate the missed opportunities all too common with lesser topwater options. A long-glide walk-the-dog action, a powerful wake and a multi-ball cadence rattle combine to make the Top Walker a seductive little siren sure to call in the biggest bass from the farthest distance. It’s available in both a 4 ½-inch and 5 1/8-inch size.

Top Walkers feature four bearings that broadcast a variable pitch frequency, mimicking the sound of schooling baitfish that predators can’t ignore. Rotated hook hangers, a feature of all baits in the Arashi lineup, ensure that all of the Top Walker’s three sticky-sharp trebles will grab fish and not let go.

Neko Rigs a Hot Trend
“The Neko Rig is one of the hottest new finesse trends going around right now,” VMC Pro Michael Iaconelli said recently. “If you use traditional finesse techniques, like soft stick baits and wacky rigs, give this Neko Rig a try. You’re going to catch fish you never thought you’d catch before.”

Bass usually hit Neko Rigs on the initial fall. A semi-slack line is key. “When you let the Neko Rig fall on a semi-slack line, it falls almost backwards at an angle,” Iaconelli explained. “It’s this natural, erratic glide that drives fish nuts.”

Although Neko Rigs are productive year-round, most anglers favor them in the post-spawn and summer. “It really shines once the fish get offshore a little bit and grouped up,” says fellow VMC pro Seth Feider, who used Neko Hooks to win a Bassmaster tournament last year.

In his Sam Rayburn win, Palaniuk threw Neko Rigs on a 7-foot, medium-action spinning rod spooled with 10-pound-test line. Light line is key to allowing the rig the best fish-attracting action.

VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap Hook Pegs Winning Fish
Built tough for worry-free use around heavy cover, VMC’s Heavy Duty Wide Gap hook features an offset behind the eye that arches away from – and then back toward – the hook bend, making it ideal for larger softbaits. A three-degree twist in the hook body provides instant and hassle-free hooksets.

The last hook Palaniuk set on Sam Rayburn was indeed a VMC Heavy Duty Wide Gap, with which he stuck a 5-pound, 15-ounce largemouth with only 24 minutes remaining before the tournament ended at 3 p.m. Keeping that fish buttoned up and into the boat won him the tournament.

“Without that fish at 2:36, there’d be a different dude standing up here right now,” he said.

And that wasn’t just hyperbole – the tournament runner-up caught a 6-pound bass at 2:30 p.m. to take an unofficial lead. Palaniuk’s 2:36 p.m. catch gave him a 2-pound margin of victory.

 

Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

  • Today is Wednesday – May 17, 2017
  • Brown Trout Action is Hot
  • Lake Alice Bite Coming Around Now
  • Lake Ontario Consumed Captain’s Cove Tackle Shop

The next few days will have temperatures in the 80’s and then drop back to more seasonal temperatures.

Fishing on Lake Ontario has been up and down, but more up than down.

In close, brown trout seem to be the catch, while out just a little deeper it is a mixture of lake trout near the bottom in 80 feet of water, and then Coho salmon and Chinooks in the upper portions.

I have one report of a 22-pound Atlantic salmon being taken a few days ago.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak,” the Perch bite has been fairly consistent, as well as some early bass action.  Remember that the bass season doesn’t open until the third Saturday in June, so for now it’s catch and release.

On Lake Alice, fishing is picking up with catches of Rock Bass, Perch, Bluegills and Crappie all being taken, even though the lake is still slightly high and dirty.

I know that many ports are in rough shape due to the high-water levels, but all of the marinas within Orleans County have been putting in overtime raising their docks and are open and ready to offer the full service that you have come to expect from them.

In short, the open sign is lit for all boaters and fishermen alike.

Captain’s Cove has lost their tackle shop at the bottom of the hill, but fear not, the new shop at the top of the hill will be open in the next few weeks.

Last Sunday, Bald Eagle Marina hosted the LOC Spring Derby Awards Ceremony which was well attended.  If you get a chance, visit them to see what a great job they have done bringing that facility up to date with all services available.

Speaking of Bald Eagle Marina, with their opening again, the Oak Orchard Open has changed their name to Orleans County Open to include Bald Eagle Marina.

You will now have the choice of fishing out of either port in Orleans County for this great event, which takes place on June 10th and 11th this year.

Also, the Condor Derby will take place on June 9th.

It’s amazing what can be done when a community works together towards a common goal.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Nautilus Reels to Offer Customized “No Pebble Mine” Reel to Support Bristol Bay

  • Nautilus Reels Supports NO PEBBLE MINE Conservation
  • NEW Nautilus Reel Features Artwork symbol NO PEBBLE MINE
The Nautilus family will offer a one-of-a-kind CCF-X2 reel that features artwork and customized colors that center around opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine. The multiple award winning dual action CCF-X2 drag system features twice the drag strength (20lbs+), twice the smoothness and half the startup inertia as the former CCF. Nautilus Photo

MIAMI (March 17, 2017) — Recognizing the enduring challenge of defending watersheds and resources, Nautilus Reels is pleased to support the efforts of Trout Unlimited’s Alaska Program and their work to protect Bristol Bay and the related ecosystems of the region with a unique customized reel.

Nautilus has created a one-of-a-kind CCF-X2 reel that features artwork and customized colors that center around opposition to the proposed Pebble Mine.

The CCF-X2 Disc Braking System is an upgraded, stronger, lighter version of the Cork and Carbon Fiber brake of its predecessor. It features twice the drag surface in a dual-action brake configuration. Coupled with hybrid ceramic bearings, the reel delivers less than 1% startup inertia at all drag settings. This brake unit is feather light and can be easily switched from RH to LH retrieve. The Brembo® brakes of fly fishing.

Nautilus Reels aims to make a statement against Pebble Mine with the custom reel while also gathering more support for No Pebble Mine efforts. With this in mind, this unique reel will be given away to one lucky winner who signs up for Trout Unlimited’s email list at savebristolbay.org/nautilus-sign-up between now and June 15, 2017.

Nautilus Reels is eager to help defeat the proposed mine. “The threat to Bristol Bay that Pebble Mine brings is a threat to the heart of fly fishing for salmon,” says Nautilus owner Kristen Mustad. “Nautilus Reels recognizes the need of the fly fishing community to come together to protect this area.”

With more anglers behind the cause of saving Bristol Bay, Nautilus believes we can defeat this threat to one of the most treasured ecosystems in the world fly fishing community.

About Nautilus Reels:

Founded by Kristen Mustad, Nautilus Reels produces an award-winning line of reels from its headquarters in Miami, Florida. Nautilus is on the forefront of reel innovation and maintains a tradition of experience and excellence while continuously redefining performance. For more information about Nautilus Reels, please visit their website and follow Nautilus on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

HUNTING, FISHING BUSINESSES UNITE IN SUPPORT OF NATIONAL MONUMENTS

Posted by Backcountry Hunters & Anglers | May 09, 2017

More than 100 hunting and fishing business owners and sporting organizations sent a letter today to Congress to show their support for national monuments and the responsible use of the Antiquities Act.

“As someone who has helped develop the outdoor industry in Colorado and watched it grow into an economic powerhouse, I am concerned by current efforts both to curtail national monuments and weaken the Antiquities Act itself,” said Jim Bartschi, president of Scott Fly Rods in Montrose, Colorado. “Public lands such as the new Browns Canyon National Monument preserve incredible outdoor opportunities to hunt, fish, hike, bike, camp and float – and they’re strongly supported by local communities, who understand that these lands offer one of the best new, sustainable ways to grow their local economies.

“Since Theodore Roosevelt established the Antiquities Act in 1906, presidents of both parties have wisely used it to protect our nation’s most treasured hunting and fishing habitats,” Bartschi added. “Let’s make sure we celebrate these special places and work together to retain their status as national monuments.”

The letter is part of a larger effort to demonstrate the important role national monuments and the Antiquities Act play not only to small businesses and rural economies but also to hunters and anglers all across the country. Business owners are meeting with decision makers in Washington this week to emphasize the value of public lands and national monuments to the outdoor industry.

“The outdoor industry accounts for $887 billion in consumer spending and 7.6 million jobs, making it one of the largest economic sectors in the country,” said Jen Ripple, editor in chief of DUN Magazine and a Tennessee resident. “Much of this economic output depends on public lands. Tools for conservation like the Antiquities Act will help ensure that America’s public lands remain not only a great place to hunt and fish but also an important pillar of the hunting and fishing industry.”

The business owners’ letter details support for safeguarding national monuments and the Antiquities Act, as well as criteria to ensure that national monuments are representative of collaborative, ground-up solutions for the management of public lands.

“Though some national monuments can be controversial, the Antiquities Act is an effective and essential tool for conservation,” said Ryan Hughes, a Nevada-based outdoor writer and volunteer for Backcountry Hunters & Anglers. “In places like Berryessa Snow Mountain in California and Rio Grande del Norte in New Mexico, we’ve seen Congress unable or unwilling to pass legislative proposals created with the help of local stakeholders. The Antiquities Act aided in allowing these collaborative efforts to happen.”

In conjunction with Trout Unlimited, Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and dozens of other conservation groups and outdoors businesses, BHA produced a report on our nation’s national monuments to highlight the incredible hunting and fishing values these protected areas have to offer.

Written by Field & Stream’s contributing editor Hal Herring, the report highlights five national monuments and the sportsmen who hunt and fish in them. Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, NM; Berryessa Snow Mountain, CA; Upper Missouri River Breaks, MT; Browns Canyon, CO; and Rio Grande del Norte, NM offer some of the finest public fishing and hunting in the country, protected forever under the Antiquities Act.

Help BHA fight for the wild public lands, waters and wildlife that you depend on by becoming a supporting member today.

About Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

Follow us for public land conservation, hunting and fishing news and resources. BHA is the sportsman’s voice for our public lands, waters & wildlife.

 

 

New York DEC Eastern Lake Erie Fishing Report

  • May 5, 2017

All the Lake Erie boat launches are now open for the season. Launching at Buffalo Boat Harbor may still be limited to the launch closest to the restaurant.

There have been some excellent yellow perch catches lately between Cattaraugus Creek and Sturgeon Point in 45-55 feet of water.  Most perch are now post spawn and spread out.  Searching around for schools on the graph may be futile, as fish are scattered and roving.  Some reports also indicate light-biting fish, with most perch mouthing bait rather than hitting it.  Watch or feel for line tightening rather than rod tip bouncing.  Many successful Lake Erie perch anglers employ a fluorocarbon rig with emerald shiners (See description below and diagram to the right).

Double Fluorocarbon Perch Rig:

Lake Erie Yellow Perch fishing rig common among successful anglers. Courtesy NYSDEC.

Tie a 6 foot section of 6-pound test fluorocarbon leader onto main line using a surgeon’s knot.  Slide a #6 Aberdeen hook up leader to 3 feet from end, and tie a double overhand knot, leaving a 1.5 inch loop with hook attached.  Slide a second hook onto line to 12-15 inches below first hook and secure similarly.  Attach a 1 or 2 ounce sinker a foot below the bottom hook.

Walleye season kicks off on Saturday (May 6) at 12:01 AM, but may be off to a slow start with heavily stained nearshore waters of Lake Erie.  The nearshore shoals/shallows are typically productive when the season opens.  Shorehaven Reef, Bournes Beach, Green Hills, Van Buren Bay, Evans Bar, off Hamburg and near the mouth of Smokes Creek are good spots to try.

There has been good smallmouth bass action in Dunkirk and Buffalo Harbors. Good numbers of 7-8 inch bluegill have been biting in Buffalo Harbor and Bell Slip Harbor.

The rain radar map has been heavy with rain for nearly a week, causing muddy water conditions for walleye trollers on Lake Erie.

Lake Erie Tributaries

Heavy rains again have all Lake Erie tributaries running at very high and muddy levels. Trib anglers saw good smallmouth bass action in the small to medium streams before the latest round of rain. Look for more bass to have moved in on this high water event.

Upper Niagara River

Due to muddy creek outflows, waters are turbid along the upper Niagara River’s east shoreline.  Harbors and marinas are the best bet until river waters settle out. These areas warm quicker than the river, attracting both bait and panfish.

Chautauqua Lake

Walleye season opens tomorrow and new regulations are in effect on Chautauqua Lake. The rules now mirror the statewide regulations with a minimum length of 15 inches and a daily limit of 5. Previously it was a minimum length of 18 inches and a daily limit of 3.

Targeting walleye along shallower shoreline areas at night is a good early season tactic. Boaters can troll with stickbaits and worm harnesses or drift and work jigs with nightcrawlers or leeches.

Shore anglers can connect by casting stickbaits, especially near stream inlets.

See the Fishing for Walleye page for more information. Yellow perch fishing has been very good seemingly lake-wide. The area around the bridge has been a hot spot for larger perch.

 The crappie bite in the canals has tapered off, as canal anglers now catch mostly bluegill. Anglers are still catching decent numbers of crappie in open lake at depths of 4 to 8 feet. Target areas near structure and weed beds.

Inland Trout Streams

Inland trout fishing is on hold due to high water conditions, with muddy conditions on all creeks. Western New York anglers have a variety of Wild Trout Streams and Stocked Trout Streams to choose from.

In addition, Public Fishing Rights Maps are available for many of the region’s best trout streams.

Check out the Fishing For Stream Trout page for introductory information on trout baits, lures, equipment and fishing techniques.

Spring Trout Stocking

All of Region 9’s trout stocking waters have been stocked with at least one stocking increment. For County lists of stocked waters check the Spring Trout Stocking 2017 page. Hatchery staff are now delivering additional stocking increments for the larger or more popular waters. The following waters are scheduled an additional stocking between 5/8 and 5/12.

Allegany County: Dodge Creek (Clarksville), Dyke Creek (Andover), Cryder Creek (Independence), California Hollow Brook (Bolivar), Little Genesee Creek (Bolivar).

Cattaraugus County: Elton Creek (Freedom).

Wyoming County: Tonawanda Creek (Orangeville), Buffalo Creek (Java).

Genesee River Angler Diary Program

DEC Region 9 Fisheries Unit will be running an angler diary program for the Genesee River during 2017, and is currently looking for anglers to keep diaries. The diarist program aims to record data for trout and bass fishing trips on the Genesee River from the Pennsylvania line downstream through Letchworth State Park from March 1st through October 31st, 2017. If you fish the Genesee River (even once) and would like to contribute your observations by keeping a diary, please call DEC Fisheries at (716) 379-6372 or email fwfish9@dec.ny.gov.

If you need more fishing information or would like to contribute to the fishing report, please call or e-mail Mike Todd (716-851-7010; michael.todd@dec.ny.gov). Good Luck Fishing!

The fishing hotline can also be heard at (716) 679-ERIE or (716) 855-FISH.

2017 NSSF Boy Scout Grant Program Goes Live

Photo Courtesy of NSSF

NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), the trade association for the firearms industry, is pleased to announce the launch of its annual grants partnership with the Boy Scouts of America Councils.  Through this partnership, BSA Councils can receive a portion of $100,000 in NSSF-provided grant funds to develop or expand their troop activities in target shooting and marksmanship.  Target shooting programs continue to rank among Scouting’s most popular activities, teaching firearms and range safety, teamwork building and fundraising skills.

“This seventh year of supporting the BSA Council Grant Program in this manner brings with it a new level of excitement,” said Zach Snow, NSSF Director, Range Services.  “Safety and marksmanship training through the Boy Scouts is a time-honored introduction to the shooting sports.  With recreational shooters and hunters alike realizing they’re living in an era of renewed enthusiasm for their sports, we’re looking forward to increased participation from Scouts pursuing badges in these activities and then taking those new skills afield for a lifetime of enjoyment.”

BSA Councils wishing to apply for grants should visit the grant guidelines and application procedures at nssf.org/bsagrant. Councils awarded funds through NSSF’s BSA Grant Program must use those grants to purchase of equipment and supplies for their shooting sports activities from an NSSF Member Retailer.  The full list of these retailers is available at nssf.org/retailers/find.  Examples of qualifying purchases are ammunition, eye and ear protection, firearms, targets and shooting vests.

How to apply: Download the Application PDF 

Submit according to guidelines.  Grant applications will be accepted until all challenge grant funds are exhausted.

Completed applications can be sent via email, fax or mail to:

National Shooting Sports Foundation
Attn: BSA Grant
11 Mile Hill Road
Newtown, CT 06470-2359
zsnow@nssf.org (Zach Snow)
Phone: 203-426-1320, ext. 224
Fax: 203-426-1087

About NSSF
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.

Apply for Florida Alligator & Fall Hunt Permits in May

  • Phase 1 Drawing May 12 – 20, 2017
  • 6,000 Permits Issued by Random Drawing

By Tony Young

May is here, and so is the start of the Phase I application period for applying for alligator and fall quota, special opportunity and national wildlife refuge hunt permits. Mark your calendar, set yourself an alarm, whatever you have to do to remind yourself – just don’t forget to get in all of your fall hunting permit applications in time for Phase I.

Alligator hunt permits

Since 1988, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) has offered hunters the opportunity to take part in its annual statewide recreational alligator harvest that runs Aug. 15–Nov. 1. These special night hunts provide a hunting adventure unlike any other. Alligators are a conservation success story in Florida. The state’s alligator population is estimated at 1.3 million and has been stable for many years.

Phase I application period

The application period for the Phase I random drawing begins May 12 at 10 a.m. and runs through May 22. More than 6,000 alligator harvest permits will be available.

Hunters can submit their application for a permit that allows the harvest of two alligators on a designated harvest unit or county. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age by Aug. 15 and have a valid credit or debit card to apply.

Applications may be submitted at any county tax collector’s office, license agent (most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies) and at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com. External Website Applicants must provide their credit card information when they apply. If you change your mind on where you’d like to hunt, you are able to make updates to your hunt choices all the way up until the application period closes.

License/permit costs

The alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two hide validation CITES tags cost $272 for Florida residents, $22 for those with a Florida Resident Persons with Disabilities Hunting and Fishing License, and $1,022 for nonresidents. The cost for applicants who already have an alligator trapping license is $62.

Phase II and III application periods

Any permits remaining after the first phase will be offered during the Phase II random drawing May 26–June 5. Those who were awarded a permit in Phase I may not apply during Phase II. Remaining permits will be available in Phase III to anyone who did not draw a permit in either of the first two phases, and they may be applied for June 9-19.

Leftover application phase

If any permits remain after Phase III, there will be a fourth-phase issuance period beginning at 10 a.m. on June 22 until all permits are sold. Anyone may apply during Phase IV, even if they were awarded a permit in one of the earlier phases. Customers who are able to purchase additional permits will be charged $62, regardless of residency or disability.

What to expect if you get drawn

Within three days of an application period closing, applicants can expect to see an authorization hold on their credit card, verifying there is a sufficient balance to cover the cost of the permit. However, this does not mean they were awarded a permit. Once the credit card authorization process is complete, the lottery drawing will be held. All successful applicants will be charged, while those who were unsuccessful will have the authorization hold lifted from their credit cards.

Successful applicants should expect to receive their alligator trapping license/harvest permit and two CITES alligator tags in the mail within six weeks of payment. Alligator trapping licenses are nontransferable. All sales are final, and no refunds will be made.

For more information on alligator hunting or the application process, see the “2017 Guide to Alligator Hunting in Florida” by going to “MyFWC.com/Hunting” and then click on “Alligator” under “By Species.”

Fall quota hunt permits

The FWC offers thousands of quota hunt opportunities each year. Hunters can choose to apply for fall quota hunts for deer and wild hogs. There also are special hunts for families, youth, people with disabilities, bowhunters and those hunting with muzzleloaders.  

A quota is the maximum number of hunters allowed on a particular wildlife management area. The FWC’s Quota Hunt Program prevents overcrowding on such areas and provides quality hunts. Quotas also help control game harvests. The FWC sets quotas based on an area’s size, habitat, game populations and regulations.

There are several types of quota permits, most of which are issued by random drawing, and the Phase I application period for these fall quota hunts is May 15–June 15. I’m talking about archery, muzzleloading gun, general gun, wild hog, youth, family, track vehicle, airboat and mobility-impaired quota hunt permits.

You may apply for each of the hunt types, and there is no fee to do so. But unless exempt, you must have an up-to-date $26 management area permit (or a license that includes one) when applying for a quota permit. If you do not have this, the system won’t accept your application.

The FWC offers youth deer hunts on Camp Blanding WMA in Clay County and on Andrews WMA in Levy County. If you have children between the ages of 8 and 15, and you want them to have a chance to experience one of these great hunts, apply for a youth quota hunt permit – 160 kids will get this opportunity. During these hunts only the youngsters may hunt, and they, along with their adult supervisors, are the only people allowed on the area.

There will be family quota hunts on 28 WMAs, and if drawn, the permit requires one adult take one or two youths hunting. The adult may not hunt without taking along a youngster.

Hunters certified by the FWC as mobility-impaired may apply for Mobility-impaired Quota Permits that allow exclusive access to general gun hunts on nine of the state’s public hunting areas.

If you want to get the jump on one of these hunts, apply May 15–June 15 at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, External Website or have a license agent or tax collector’s office apply for you. To find out if you’ve been selected, log onto your customer account at that same web address after 10 a.m. on June 19.       

If you don’t get drawn for a particular quota hunt, you’ll get a preference point for next year’s drawing, which will improve your chances of being selected. If you’re unable to use your quota permit and you return it at least 10 days prior to your hunt, you’ll get your preference point restored.

Special-opportunity fall hunts

If you haven’t been seeing the quantity or quality of game you’d like, I suggest applying for a Special-Opportunity Fall Hunt Permit. For the past 20 years, the FWC has offered these unique fall-season hunts for deer, wild hog and released quail on arguably the state’s best public hunting lands. Maybe it’s time you looked into getting in on the action and experiencing the hunt of a lifetime.

These extraordinary hunts offer large tracts of land with an abundance of game and low hunting pressure. All deer hunts allow you to take only mature bucks with at least one antler having four or more points, 1 inch or longer. Wild hogs also are legal to take during the deer hunts, and there is no size or bag limit on hogs.

These special-opportunity deer and wild hog hunts take place in central Florida on Fort Drum, Lake Panasoffkee, Triple N Ranch and Green Swamp West Unit WMAs. Camping is legal on all areas.

There is one seven-day general gun deer and hog hunt on the 20,858-acre Fort Drum WMA in Indian River County. The hunt costs $50, if you get drawn. 

Lake Panasoffkee, in Sumter County, has eight four-day archery hunts for deer and hog on 8,676 acres. The permits are $100 for each hunt.

There are two seven-day general gun deer and hog hunts at Triple N Ranch in Osceola County. The permit costs $175 for each of the two hunt dates.

Pasco County’s Green Swamp West Unit, where the state’s highest-scoring deer on record was taken, has two archery hunts for deer and hogs on its 34,335 acres. There are also three general gun hunts for deer and hogs. All are four-day hunts costing $100.

All special-opportunity permit holders can bring one non-hunting guest if they wish during the deer and hog hunts.

The FWC also has released-quail hunts on the Carr Unit of Blackwater WMA in Santa Rosa County. With these hunts, you must bring and release your own pen-raised quail. These are seven-day (Saturday through Friday) hunts that run 16 consecutive weeks. 

There’s just one permit available for each week, and if you’re lucky enough to draw one, you and up to three of your friends will have the entire 250 acres to yourselves. The permit costs $100 for each week.

Special-opportunity hunt permits are transferable by simply giving the permit to another person. Permit holders under age 16 or those who are certified mobility-impaired, may have a non-hunting assistant accompany them during all special-opportunity hunts.

If you’d like to take part in one or more of these hunts, you may apply at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com, External Website county tax collectors’ offices or most retail outlets that sell hunting and fishing supplies beginning 10 a.m. on May 15. The application period runs through midnight of June 15.

You may apply for as many special-opportunity hunts and dates as you like to increase your chances of being selected, but you must include the $5 nonrefundable application fee for each one. Hunters are limited to drawing only one permit per hunt area, though.

Special-opportunity results are available in rounds, and you may pay the cost of the selected hunt at GoOutdoorsFlorida.com External Website or at any license agent or tax collector’s office. If you don’t claim your permit by paying for it in full by the claim deadline for each round, you forfeit it, and it’ll be available to the next customer waiting in line in the next round.

National Wildlife Refuge hunts

There are also several fall hunts on five national wildlife refuges that you may apply for during the same Phase I application period of May 15–June 15. These National Wildlife Refuge hunts offer yet another unique and limited opportunity to hunt on well-managed habitat with healthy game populations and low hunting pressure. However, no guest permits are available for any of these hunts. And if you get drawn, you must pay for your permit by the claim deadline, or you forfeit it, and it’ll be available during the next application period which is first-come, first-served.

On the 21,574-acre Lake Woodruff External Website in Volusia and Lake counties, you can apply for archery and muzzleloading gun hunts for deer and hog. There is no fee to apply, but if you get drawn, the permit costs $27.50.

You can apply for archery hunts on Brevard County’s 140,000-acre Merritt Island. External Website External Website There is no cost to apply, but if you get drawn, the permit is $27.50.

Just south of Tallahassee, you may apply for archery, general gun and mobility-impaired hunts on the 32,000-acre St. Marks. External Website Each of these hunts cost $5 to apply for and if you get drawn, the permits are $27.50.

On Franklin County’s 11,400-acre St. Vincent Island, External Website you can apply for primitive weapons hunts for the exotic and enormous sambar deer. It’s $5 to apply, and $37.50 to buy the permit should you get drawn. 

Lower Suwannee, External Website in Dixie and Levy counties, has a $15 permit you can purchase that allows you to hunt the entire fall and spring season on the 53,000-acre refuge. You may purchase this permit anytime between May 15 and up to the last day of spring turkey season.

So whether it’s a gator permit you want, or a fall quota, special-opportunity or refuge hunt that you’re after – or all of the above– here’s wishing you success getting one of these great permits.

New Channel Catfish Record in New York State!

  • Lake Ontario, Jefferson County, 35-pounds, 3 ounces
  • Lucky Angler is Watertown Resident, Eric Scordo
  • Bait was a Simple Nightcrawler
Using just a nightcrawler, Eric Scordo of Watertown caught a 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish measuring 38 ¼ inches in Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29, 2017.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has confirmed that a new state record has been established for channel catfish.

Using just a nightcrawler, Eric Scordo of Watertown caught a 35-pound, 3-ounce channel catfish measuring 38 ¼ inches in Lake Ontario in Jefferson County on April 29.  The fish broke the previous state record caught from Brant Lake (Warren County) in 2002 by nearly 2½ pounds.

“Mr. Scordo’s record-breaking channel catfish is a prime example of the outstanding fishing opportunities in New York for a variety of species, not just popular gamefish,” said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. “This new record kicks off the 2017 freshwater fishing season, and I encourage all New Yorkers to buy their license, pick up a rod and reel, and try their hand at hooking a trophy catch in any of the state’s 7,500 lakes and ponds and 70,000 miles of rivers and streams.”

Channel catfish are the largest members of the catfish species that live in New York and can be found statewide.  They feed primarily on the bottom and are most easily caught using live bait such as worms or baitfish.  When hooked, catfish can provide a challenge for even the most experienced anglers.  They are also one of the tastiest freshwater fish.

Mr. Scordo submitted details of his winning catch as part of DEC’s Angler Achievement Awards Program, which tracks state record fish.  Through this program, anglers can enter freshwater fish that meet specific qualifying criteria and receive official recognition of their catch and a distinctive lapel pin commemorating their achievement.  Three categories make up the program: Catch & Release, Annual Award, and State Record.

For more information about the Angler Achievement Awards Program, including a downloadable application form, go to DEC’s website.  Program details and an official entry form can also be found in DEC’s current Freshwater Fishing Regulations Guide.

For additional information on the Angler Achievement Awards Program call (518) 402-8891 or email fwfish@dec.ny.gov or go to the website: http://www.dec.ny.gov/press/press.html.

 

Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

  • Today is Wednesday – May 3, 2017
  • Lake Ontario Water Level Threatens Shoreline
  • Fish Hitting in Lake Ontario
  • Trib’s and Lake Alice are Fast & Muddy

One thing is for sure, we have more than enough water to go around and then plenty to share with others.  The extended dry spell of today will be followed by rain for the rest of the week, sometimes being very heavy.

All of the tributaries within Orleans County are running high, fast and they are muddy as all get out. 

One person told me that Lake Alice was so muddy that he felt it could be plowed.  He also said that the only fish in Lake Alice that could see to bite a bait were Bullhead.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” a good share of the docks are underwater and the river is running very swiftly towards the lake.

The forecast for today calls for swift Northwest winds which will not help the shore residents or the fishery one bit.

One boat went fishing yesterday and seemed to have a pretty good mixed bag of fish including browns, Coho, steelhead and possibly a Chinook in the mix.

The calmest water seems to be that of the Erie Canal right now.

For all of you Spring LOC Derby fishermen, please be mindful of your surrounding conditions and above all else, be safe.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

  • Lake Ontario has Very High Water
  • Fishing is Good on Lake, in Trib’s
  • Lake Alice is Off-color, but Lots of Fish

Today is Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

The rain keeps coming and the lake level keeps rising.  Property owners along Lake Ontario are bracing for even higher water and hoping that we don’t get a strong wind from any northerly direction.

Let’s start with the inland waters report.

Lake Alice hasn’t totally cleared of muddy water yet, but it is offering some great opportunities for Bluegill, Crappie, Perch, Rock Bass, White Bass, Bullhead and Channel Cats.

The Lake Ontario tributaries still have some Steelhead and an occasional Brown trout along with suckers, perch, bass, pike and Bullhead.

On Lake Ontario, great catches of Brown trout, Coho’s and some Steelhead are being reported, along with Lake Trout that are out deeper.  There’s even a few reports about Chinook Salmon being caught.

Those fishing the big lake should be ever mindful of the great amount of debris that the Lake Ontario high water conditions have deposited in the lake, some of which you can see and some that is just below the surface.

Monday, the DEC stocked 7,000 Steelhead up by Captain’s Cove and then 133,160 Chinook Salmon at Lake Breeze Marina.  The salmon were supposed to be held in pens, but the decision was made to direct stock them due to the high temperature in the “Oak” with the protection provided by the muddy water conditions.  This was a hard decision to make but in my opinion it was the very best decision that could have been made.

A week from this Friday will be the opening of the Spring LOC Derby which will run through May 14th this year.

With the fishing conditions being what they are, we should see some great weights on the leaderboard.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

5 Good THINGS to KNOW ABOUT HUNTING

  • Environmental Preservation
  • Support Regulations
  • Save Wildlife Populations
  • Provides Nutritional Alternatives
  • Vital Part of Wildlife Conservation
A bonded connection between hunting and conservation can start at an early age when family hunts share the sacred benefits of the outdoors, wildlife, adventure and personal responsibility.  Forrest Fisher Photo

Contributed by NSSF

Recognizing that the connection between hunting and conservation can seem counterintuitive, the National Shooting and Sports Foundation (NSSF) has developed a series of infographics to help the public better understand hunting and hunters.

In truth, the values of today’s socially and environmentally conscious society are closely related to that of hunters’.

Hunting aids environmental preservation

Hunter-supported taxes on equipment and license fees have afforded wildlife agencies the money to be able to acquire and maintain land for the conservation of game and non-game species. This land also provides space for outdoor recreational activities such as hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, camping and more.

Hunters support regulations

Hunters demonstrate their respect for regulated hunting by taking hunter safety education courses, following the rules of ethical hunting, and adhering to regulations, seasons and permit procedures that differ from state to state and species to species in order to help strategically manage wildlife.

Hunters helped save wildlife populations

Hunters helped create a sustainable conservation model allowing Americans to participate in regulated hunting that supports the conservation of wildlife. This model, which was so successful it has been adopted around the world, has helped restore species such as Wild Turkeys, Rocky Mountain Elk and others, some that were on the brink of vanishing forever.

Hunting provides nutritional alternatives

In the old days, people regularly hunted for their food. Today, as many strive to know more about where their food comes from and how it will affect their health, they are turning back to wild game, the most organic and sustainable meat source in the world, to provide the best nutrients for their body and the most natural life for the animal.

Hunting is a vital part of wildlife conservation

Hunting is a highly regulated tool that plays an important role in wildlife management. Biologist study wildlife populations, habitats and food, then work with legislators to establish regulations on hunting that will keep wildlife populations in balance, as well as promote growth and breeding, as habitat allows.

Hunting can be difficult to understand, but NSSF encourages you to look at these infographics to get a better grasp of its benefits. Do you care about the environment, land preservation, animal conservation and personal nutrition? Then you can support hunting.

New York State Spring Turkey Opens May 1

  • Spring 2017 will be Above 20,000 Bird Hunter Average
  • Successive Mild Winters Help Reproduction
  • 2-Bird Season Bag Limit, May 1 -31, 2017
Experts predict that a rising turkey population and healthy tom gobblers will be the norm in New York State for 2017, mild winters have helped the birds survive and thrive. Joe Forma Photo

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is opening spring turkey season on May 1 in upstate New York north of the Bronx-Westchester County line, the agency announced today.

“Hunting is an excellent way to connect people to the natural world,” DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said. “Spending time afield with a new hunter is a chance to teach them about conservation, the environment, and wildlife. It’s the perfect opportunity to put novice hunters on the path to becoming safe and responsible hunters.”

DEC reports that the turkey population experienced reproductive success in the summer of 2015, and combined with relatively mild winters in 2015-16 and 2016-17, it is anticipated that the spring harvest will be up from last year and above the five-year average (about 20,000 birds). The estimated turkey harvest for spring 2016 was 18,400 birds, and nearly 6,000 junior hunters harvested an estimated 1,300 birds during the two-day youth hunt in 2016.

Details: NYS Spring Turkey Season: May 1-31, 2017

  • Hunting is permitted in most areas of the state, except for New York City and Long Island.
  • Hunters must have a turkey hunting permit in addition to their hunting license.
  • Shooting hours are from one-half hour before sunrise to noon each day.
  • Hunters may take two bearded turkeys during the spring season, but only one bird per day.
  • Hunters may not use rifles or handguns firing a bullet. Hunters may hunt with a shotgun or handgun loaded with shot sizes no larger than No. 2 or smaller than No. 8, or with a bow or crossbow.
  • Successful hunters must fill out the tag that comes with the turkey permit and immediately attach it to any turkey harvested.
  • Successful hunters must report their harvest within seven days of taking a bird. Call 1-866-426-3778 (1-866 GAMERPT) or report a harvest online at DEC’s website.

For more information about turkey hunting in New York, see the 2016-17 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Guide or visit the “Turkey Hunting” pages at DEC’s website.

New York has an extremely safety-conscious generation of hunters, largely due to the annual efforts of more than 3,000 dedicated volunteer sportsman education instructors. DEC suggests hunters follow the cardinal rules of hunting safety: assume every gun is loaded; control the muzzle; keep your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot; be absolutely sure of your target and what may be beyond it; and don’t stalk. Set up with your back against a large tree and call birds to you. To find a sportsman education class in your area, go to the Sportsman Education web page on DEC’s website or call 1-888-HUNT-ED2 (1-888-486-8332).

To view a video on hunter safety tips, watch DEC’s Hunter Safety video on YouTube. 

 

 

 

National Archery in the Schools Program Continues to Grow in New York

  • 60 students from 17 New York schools eligible to participate in national archery tournament
  • Program introduces young people to archery and other outdoor sports

April 18, 2017 – New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos today announced the 60 New York students who scored high enough in the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) to compete in the national tournament this May. Students from participating schools and school districts across the state competed in the archery program in March.

“The National Archery in the Schools Program is growing in New York,” said Commissioner Seggos. “This cooperative effort between conservation agencies, school systems, and private organizations is a great way to bring the sport of archery to thousands of students across the state. Archery is one of the few sports where students of all ages and athletic abilities compete at the same level for top honors. Even with the expanded participation that we have experienced here in New York, we are encouraging more schools to join us in New York NASP.”

James Faso III, a Staley Upper Elementary School student focused on his shot. NYSDEC Photo

NASP is designed to improve participation in outdoor activities among students of all athletic abilities. DEC started this program in 2008 to introduce young people to archery, outdoors, and other shooting sports, including hunting. In New York, 320 schools from 167 school districts currently participate in the program and more than 34,000 students participated during the school year. NASP continues to grow at the national level with 2.4 million students and more than 14,400 schools in 47 states participating in the program.

As part of the New York program, an annual statewide competition is held for participating schools. This year, approximately 700 students from 33 school districts competed during the first two weeks of March. The 2017 statewide event was successfully held as school-based tournaments where the students compete at their respective schools and their scores are compiled by DEC. Each competitor can achieve a maximum score of 300 points. There are three divisions: High School, grades 9-12; Middle School, grades 6-8; and Elementary School, grades 4-5.

The overall top female archer in the tournament was Jordan Sands with a score of 285. Jordan attends Hinsdale High School in Cattaraugus County. The top male archer in the tournament was Jake Hafner with a score of 287. Jake attends Schroon Lake Central (High) School in Essex County.

Students that place in the top 10 in each of the three divisions, by gender, qualify to compete and represent New York at the national NASP tournament in Louisville, Kentucky, on May 11 – 13. This year, New York is sending 60 eligible students from 17 schools to the national tournament.

Ryan Huggins, the assistant NY State NASP Coordinator and Melissa Bailey, the NY State NASP Coordinator promoting NASP to physical education teachers across the state.

Chris VanGorden from the Palmyra-Macedon and Lori Weykman from the Phelps-Clifton Springs Central School Districts in western New York both agree that “NASP is a valuable program that has created opportunities for a great number of kids that may not have otherwise been involved in a sport in our schools. We have seen first-hand the increase in self-esteem in our students who have participated in the NASP Program.”

Michael Sharp, a physical education teacher at Schroon Lake Central School, in Essex County said, “NASP is probably the best program that I have ever introduced into my curriculum; it inspires all types of students to participate. The kids absolutely love it!”

For more information on NASP and to view the NASP photo gallery, visit DEC’s website and contact the sportsman Education Program, the state program coordinator for NY-NASP at 1-888-486-8332 or e-mail at hunter@dec.ny.gov.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, NY

  • Lake Ontario Fishing Getting Good
  • Lake Alice Offers Many Inland Species

Today is Wednesday, April 19, 2017.

Fishing is picking up at a pretty good pace on Lake Ontario off Orleans County.

Brown trout fishing is at its best, Coho fishing is good and an occasional steelhead is showing up in the mix on the inside waters.

Farther on out, Lake trout are showing up in an abundance.

This is just a great time for fishing on Lake Ontario.

On Lake Alice, it’s some of everything including bass, walleye (not in season yet), crappie, bluegill, perch, bullhead and even a sucker or two.

I’ve not had a good report on the fishing in the lower portion of the “Oak,” but I have seen several people fishing at the Point.

The muddy water has pretty well cleared to a slightly-stained condition and temperatures are near normal.

Finally, the Lake Ontario water level is 8″ above what it was at this time last year and will continue to rise for at least another month.

When approaching shore please be mindful of the damage your wake could cause during these high-water conditions and approach at idle speeds.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Help Keep Nesting Waterbirds Safe: Give Them Space

A Black Skimmer enjoys the Florida shoreline. “Florida is renowned for its diverse and spectacular bird life,” said FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski. “We want to ensure these birds are here for future generations to enjoy.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Audubon Florida are reminding beachgoers and boaters to give nesting waterbirds and their young space to help keep them safe this nesting season.    

Shorebirds build shallow nests out of sand and shells on beaches in spring and summer, and eggs and hatching chicks are difficult to see. Wading birds, such as herons and egrets, as well as pelicans are also nesting now on islands around the state. Both types of birds can be easily disturbed if people approach too closely. Such disturbance can cause birds to abandon their nesting sites, exposing eggs and chicks to predators, sun exposure and other harm.

Shorebird nests, eggs and chicks are well-camouflaged and can easily be missed and even stepped on unless people know to look out for them. The snowy plover, least tern, black skimmer, American oystercatcher and Wilson’s plover are several of Florida’s beach-nesting shorebird species facing conservation challenges. Vulnerable tree-nesting waterbirds, such as brown pelicans, reddish egrets, tricolored herons and roseate spoonbills, have also experienced declines. These coastal waterbirds can benefit from increased awareness by the public.

People can help keep nesting waterbirds safe by keeping their distance from them and Critical Wildlife Areas.

CWAs are established by the FWC to protect congregations of one or more species of wildlife from human disturbance during critical life stages such as breeding, feeding or migration. Last November, FWC commissioners approved an unprecedented effort to create 13 new CWAs and improve five existing CWAs.

A Snowy Plover on her nest in guard of predators along the Florida seashore.

“Some of the CWAs are so new that they have not yet been marked-off as CWAs. In these areas, we are asking people to be extra vigilant in their efforts to avoid disturbing the birds,” said FWC CWA coordinator Michelle van Deventer.

In northwest Florida, there are three CWAs posted for nesting birds: Alligator Point and St. George Causeway in Franklin County, and Tyndall in Bay County. The FWC is working to create two new CWAs in Franklin County: Flagg Island and Lanark Reef.

In northeast Florida, there are four CWAs posted for waterbird nesting: Fort George in Duval County, Matanzas Inlet in St. Johns County, Nassau Sound Islands in Nassau and Duval counties, and Amelia Island in Nassau County.

The central east coast of Florida area has one CWA posted for waterbird nesting: Stick Marsh in Brevard County. The FWC is working to create a new CWA in this area: BC49 in Brevard County. This CWA has not yet been posted.

In the Tampa Bay area, there are two sites currently posted with CWA signs: Myakka River in Sarasota County and Alafia Banks in Hillsborough County. The FWC is working to create two new CWAs in this area: Dot-Dash-Dit Islands in Manatee County and Roberts Bay Islands in Sarasota County. These CWAs have not yet been posted.

There are several CWAs posted for waterbird nesting in Lee and Collier counties. These include ABC Islands, Big Marco Pass, Little Estero Island and Second Chance. Also in Lee and Collier counties, the FWC is working to create or update several new CWAs, including Rookery Island, Matanzas Pass Island, Big Carlos Pass-M52, Coconut Point East, Broken Islands, Useppa Oyster Bar and Hemp Key. These CWAs have not yet been posted.

In southeast Florida, there are two CWAs marked off for waterbird nesting or foraging: Bill Sadowski in Miami-Dade County and Bird Island in Martin County,  In addition to observing the marked-off areas around CWAs, people can also help by following a few simple steps while enjoying the beach this season:

  • Keep your distance from birds, on the beach or on the water. If birds become agitated or leave their nests, you are too close. A general rule is to stay at least 300 feet from a nest. Birds calling out loudly and dive-bombing are signals for you to back off.
  • Respect posted areas. Avoid posted nesting sites and use designated walkways when possible.
  • Never intentionally force birds to fly or run. This causes them to use energy needed for nesting, and eggs and chicks may be left vulnerable to the sun’s heat or predators. Teach children not to chase shorebirds and kindly ask fellow beachgoers to do the same. Shorebirds outside of posted areas may be feeding or resting and need to do so without disturbance.
  • It is best to not take pets to the beach, but if you do, keep them leashed and avoid shorebird nesting areas. (State parks, national parks and CWAs do not allow pets.)
  • Keep the beach clean and do not feed wildlife. Food scraps attract predators, such as raccoons and crows, which can prey on shorebird eggs and chicks. Litter on beaches can entangle birds and other wildlife.
  • Spread the word. If you see people disturbing nesting birds, gently let them know how their actions may hurt the birds’ survival. If they continue to disturb nesting birds, report it to the FWC’s Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922), #FWC or *FWC on a cellphone or by texting Tip@MyFWC.com. You may also report nests that are not posted to our Wildlife Alert Program.

“These charismatic birds make Florida the special place that it is,” said Julie Wraithmell, Deputy Executive Director for Audubon Florida. “Giving these parents and their babies a little space will ensure they’re here for generations to come.”

For more information, go to MyFWC.com/Shorebirds and download the “Share the Beach with Beach-Nesting Birds” brochure. Or go to the Florida Shorebird Alliance website at FLShorebirdAlliance.org to learn more about how to participate in shorebird conservation efforts.

For more information about Florida’s CWAs, visit MyFWC.com/CWA.

To learn how you can volunteer your time to protect nesting coastal birds, visit FL.Audubon.org and scroll over the “Conservation” tab at the top, then click on “Coastal Conservation” and “Coastal Bird Stewardship,” or you can email FLConservation@Audubon.orgExternal Website

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Trib’s: High and Muddy
  • Marina Activity in Full Swing

Today is Wednesday, April 12, 2017.

Winter, summer and spring all in one week.  This must be a new record!

Depending on which weather forecast you listen to, this weekend will either be summer-like and dry, or spring-like and wet.

After all of the rain/snow that we have had over the last several days, all of the tributaries within Orleans County are high and muddy.

Lake Alice is still very stained, as is the mouth of the “Oak” and out into Lake Ontario for several hundred feet.

As you get away from the mouths of the tributaries, you will find some of that nice “Lake Erie” green water to enjoy.

In the “Oak,” both fresh and spawned steelhead are up for the taking and with the higher water flows are on the move.

Lake Alice is offering a great mixed bag of fish including Bluegill, Crappie, Perch, Bass, suckers and Bullhead.

On Lake Ontario, some very good brown trout fishing is being enjoyed when the wind cooperates for that near shore fishery.

Action around our marinas are entering their all-out phase, getting boats ready to launch for another great season.

The pens for the pen-rearing project are ready to go and just waiting for the delivery of fish.

With under a month until the opening of the spring LOC Derby it’s time for that shakedown cruise to make sure all of the work that was done this winter is working properly.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

TRCP’s Revamped Website Makes Conservation Accessible to All Sportsmen

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership is proud to announce the official launch of its newly redesigned website at trcp.org. The site overhaul puts original content, educational resources, and opportunities for action front and center, so American sportsmen and women have the tools to advocate for conservation policy that benefits fish, wildlife, and habitat.

The TRCP redesign highlights the organization’s core issues, superior content, and opportunities for advocates to take action.

“Conservation is the bedrock of all our American traditions in the outdoors, but it is often forged online by the sportsmen and women willing to engage and speak out for better policies and funding,” says Whit Fosburgh, TRCP’s president and CEO. “We hope our new site will continue to serve as an invaluable resource, point of discovery, and outlet for action.”

TRCP worked with Sage Lion Media, a marketing agency out of Denver, Colo., to focus on ease of navigation with a new mobile-responsive design. The homepage showcases some of Theodore Roosevelt’s best quotes, as well as the core issues that the organization fights for: habitat and clean water, sportsmen’s access, and a robust outdoor recreation economy.

The TRCP blog features a customized reading list to introduce users to other conservation topics of interest. And with all its content under one roof, nearly every page showcases beautiful photos and the engaging opinion-driven conservation stories that TRCP is known for.

Visit TRCP now to see what’s new: http://www.trcp.org/.

 

 

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Trib’s: Welcome to Spring!
  • Lake Alice Fish are Biting

Today is Wednesday, April 5, 2017.

April showers may bring May flowers if it doesn’t flood them out.

The wind and rain of the past several weeks have taken their toll on the fishery in Western New York, but waterways are starting to change very slowly.

Yesterday it was a combination of both wind and rain that helped keep fishermen off of Lake Ontario in the afternoon.  The wind actually helped those who were fishing the tributaries and smaller lakes.

On Lake Alice, Perch, Bluegill, Crappie, Bullhead and Suckers were all in the mix depending on what part of the lake you fished.  Later in the afternoon when the wind really picked up, things, fishing dropped off a bit.

All of this stained to muddy water should give the Bullhead fishermen a leg up if only for a short while.

The “Oak” was pretty much muddy and blown out, but the smaller tributaries offered some better conditions with moderate flows and stained water.

When fishermen could get on Lake Ontario, some very good Brown Trout fishing was enjoyed, with sizes up from what was experienced in past years.  Browns were pushed closer to shore by the winds offering shore fishermen a great opportunity to get in on the action.

More rain is in the forecast for late this week, but then the weekend and next week will be a vast improvement.

Only a month to go before the 1st day of the Spring LOC Derby, so now is the time to prep all of your equipment and get that derby ticket so you don’t get left out.

This weekend I’ll be in Doswell, Virginia, for a fly fishing and wine tasting show, so if you’re in the area, stop by and say hello.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County. Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Trib’s: High, Smaller Tribs are Better
  • Spring Conditions are Near

Today is Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Daytime temperatures in the mid to high 40’s and night time lows in the high 30’s will melt whatever snowpack that is left.

The snowmelt has caused the “Oak” water flow to be high and dirty for the time being.  The turbine is channel going full bore.

The smaller tributaries within Orleans County are at much more fishable levels with stained water and are producing some good to very good fishing conditions.

Steelhead are providing most of the fishing action on the tributaries and should continue to do so for another week or so.

The “Oak” flows should start receding by the end of the week and clarity will return to stained conditions.

This is the time of year that the change from tributary to lake fishing occurs as evidenced by Brown Trout fishing beginning on the big lake.  This will soon be followed by the other cold water species.

It won’t be long before the marinas are alive with activity as boat owners ready their craft for another great season.

Lake Alice is still riled up, but should also calm down and should start producing most of the warm water species in the very near future.

Please don’t forget that this Saturday is the day to help out assembling the pens for the pen rearing project that takes place at Ernest’s Lake Breeze Marina.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Reticulated Albino Python Snakes in Manhattan, New York

  • Longest Snakes in the World, Growing to 20 Feet.
  • Reticulated Pythons Can be Dangerous.
  • In New York, a Special Permit is Required to Keep Them
From L to R: New York State Environmental Conservation Officers Brown, Chomicki, Noyes and Lomozik, with two juvenile Albino Reticulated Pythons.  NYSDEC Photo

MANHATTAN – Early in February – 2017, New York State Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Spencer Noyes came across a Craigslist ad offering an Albino Reticulated Python for sale in Manhattan.

Reticulated Pythons are classified as wild animals under New York State Environmental Conservation Law and individuals are required to have a special license to possess or sell the snakes.  Reticulated Pythons are the longest snakes in the world, growing to more than 20 feet in length and can be dangerous.

Working with Lt. Michael Buckley, ECO Noyes determined the seller did not have a license.  Acting as an interested buyer, Noyes contacted the seller and after several phone conversations, the seller agreed on a price for the original snake plus a second animal.  On Feb. 13, ECOs Noyes and Bill Chomicki went in plain clothes to the seller’s residence in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan, New York.

Lt. Nate VerHague and ECO’s Zach Brown and Jarrod Lomozik served as uniformed backup.  When the seller came outside with both snakes, Noyes and Chomicki identified themselves as Conservation Officers and, after a brief conversation, the seller admitted to not having any DEC permits to possess the snakes.  

The snakes were seized as evidence and transported to the Animal Care Center of New York City, where they are being cared for and will eventually be sent to the Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, New York.  The Sean Casey Animal Rescue Group specializes in the rescue and rehabilitation of reptiles.  The seller was charged with possessing a wild animal without a permit and is due in New York County Court in May.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

“From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling New York State are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and its natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos.  “They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes.  Although they don’t receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC’s mission to protect and enhance our environment.”

Jordan Lee Wins 2017 Bassmaster Classic

Jordan Lee started BASS Championship Sunday in 15th place and finished the day with the 2017 Bassmaster Classic Championship Trophy held high above his head. Seigo Saito Photo (BASS)

HOUSTON — BASS Championship Sunday.  In 2013, Jordan Lee was a member of the Auburn University fishing team.  Today, he’s on top of the professional bass fishing world.

The 25-year-old pro from Guntersville, Ala., stayed within striking distance all week at the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods. Then during Sunday’s final round at Minute Maid Park, he caught five bass from Lake Conroe that weighed 27 pounds, 4 ounces, pushing his three-day total to a tournament-best 56-10.

Lee earned $300,000 and the most coveted trophy in the sport, while Steve Kennedy — a resident of Auburn, Ala. — finished second with 55-1.

“To all of the guys fishing the college tournaments right now, this just says you can do it,” Lee said. “It’s hard work — and you’re going to have a lot of days out here that aren’t good.

“On this lake, I wasn’t sure there was any way I could do it. But you’re never out of it here.”

Lee had every reason to fold after Friday’s first round when he caught only three fish that weighed 8-6. But Saturday provided a revelation that would ultimately lead to his first B.A.S.S. victory.

Top 15 Finishers, payouts went to all 51 anglers in the classic, with 51st place paying $10,000

He was fishing a point with a hard bottom that he found during practice and he believed would pay off during the tournament. After failing to catch a fish there in windy, cloudy conditions on Friday, he returned to the spot in calmer weather on the following day.

“With zero fish in the box at noon on the second day, I went back to that spot and caught a 7 1/2-pounder on the first cast,” Lee said. “When I was landing that fish, there was a whole school of 5- and 6-pounders that came with it.

“Right then, I knew something was about to happen — and I caught two more that were both big.”

Lee still didn’t manage a five-bass limit on Saturday, but the four fish he brought to the scales weighed 21-0.

That moved Lee into 15th place with 29-6 and guaranteed him a spot in Sunday’s Top 25. But he still didn’t feel good about his chances of catching California angler Brent Ehrler, who had led the first two rounds of the event and entered Championship Sunday with 43-4.

Sunday began with Lee planning to fish his magic point all day — even if the fishing had fizzled. As it turns out, he didn’t have much of a choice.

Engine troubles left him without the ability to run from spot to spot and forced him to milk every possible bite out of the point. He eventually had to hitch a ride back to the weigh-in with a spectator that he knew from Cullman, Ala. — a legal ploy in the Classic, as long as no fishing takes place in the spectator’s boat.

Lee’s main baits were a Strike King 5XD crankbait in the citrus shad color pattern, a football jig with a Rage Craw and a Space Monkey for a trailer and a Bullworm on a magnum shaky head.

“I stuck with it all day and caught fish on a football jig with a Rage Craw and a Space Monkey,” Lee said. “I threw the 5XD and the Bullworm and didn’t really get any bites on them. I caught all 27 pounds on that football jig.”

Of the hundreds of points on Conroe, Lee said it was one section of hard bottom that seemed to make his point special. Casting across the point — rather than parallel to it — was the better play all week.

“I never caught any shells or anything, so I think it was a gravel or a rock bottom,” he said. “It was really subtle. There was no brush. It was just kind of a flat point, and I was fishing probably 100 yards offshore.”

Lee had to sweat through the final few anglers, including Kennedy who weighed in 21-15 and fell just 1-9 short of the title. The final angler with a chance to unseat Lee from the top of the leaderboard was Ehrler, who weighed in just 11-10 and finished third with 54-14.

Ehrler was trying to become just the sixth angler in Classic history to lead the event from wire-to-wire and the first since Cliff Pace in 2013. Instead, he became the second angler in a row to lead the first two days, only to fall short in the end.

“I’m disappointed,” Ehrler said. “But what I really wanted to do coming in was be in position to win on the final day. I did that, but things just didn’t work out today.”

Ehrler earned the Berkley Big Bass Award of $2,500 for the largest fish of the event with a 9-12 largemouth he caught on Friday.

Ehrler also earned the GEICO Everyday Leader Award of $1,000 and the $1,500 GEICO Everyday Leader Bonus for leading both Friday and Saturday.

Jordan Lee is walking proud as he displays one of the bass lunkers that he caught in Lake Conroe. Seigo Saito Photo (BASS)

The event itself drew thousands of people to morning takeoffs at Lake Conroe Park, the Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods and the daily weigh-ins at Minute Maid Park, home of Major League Baseball’s Houston Astros.

Official attendance estimates won’t be available for several days.

Spring Cure for Your Freezer Meat

  • March and April is Prime Jerky Making Time
  • Turn Freezer Meat into Healthy Snacks
Each Hi Mountain Seasonings Sausage kit, Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kit and Snackin’ Stick Kit comes with everything you need: seasonings, cure and casings. The entire line of products, cooking tips, instructional videos, and recipes is available at www.himtnjerky.com.

Spring is a great time to go through the freezer to clear out older harvests and turn them into some great, healthy snacks like jerky or sausage. Whether you have an abundance of ducks or geese, fish or game meat, Hi Mountain Seasonings has a jerky & seasoning kit to turn that aging meat into healthy, mouthwatering treats. Don’t let any of your harvests go to waste; simply turn them into jerky or sausage for easy to grab-and-go summer snacks.

Each Hi Mountain Seasonings Sausage kit, Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kit and Snackin’ Stick Kit comes with everything you need: seasonings, cure and casings. All can readily be made in the convenience of an oven, smoker or dehydrator, and it is a fun project for the whole family.

With 21 different Jerky Cure & Seasoning Kits, 14 Snackin’ Stick kits and 12 Sausage Making kits, finding a Hi Mountain Seasoning kit won’t be a problem, but narrowing down the selection might be.

This spring clean out the freezer and make some delicious, healthy, palate- pleasing treats for the entire family. Jerky Cure& Seasoning Kits season up to 10 pounds of ground meat or 15 lbs. of whole muscle meat and retails for $7.99.  Snackin’ Sticks season 20 lbs. of meat and retail for $21.99. The Sausage kits each season 30 lbs. of meat, with the exception of the Bratwurst kit that seasons 24 lbs., the Salami kit that seasons 18 lbs. and the Hot Dog kit that seasons 23 lbs. All sausage kits retail for $20.99 with the exception of the Hot Dog kit, which retails for $19.99.

Hi Mountain’s entire line of products, cooking tips, instructional videos, and recipes are also available at www.himtnjerky.com. Hi Mountain products also can be found at high-end sporting-goods stores, farm-and-ranch stores and many local grocery stores.

Located in the heart of Wyoming, Hi Mountain Seasonings was founded in 1991. It is the premier manufacturer of kits for homemade jerky and sausage. Hi Mountain Seasonings has successfully captured distinct, traditional Western flavors in its jerky cure& seasonings, Western-style seasonings, bacon cures and other products that make up the unique line of gourmet Western seasonings. For additional information, write: Hi Mountain Seasonings, 1000 College View Drive, Riverton, WY 82501; call toll-free 1-800-829-2285; or visit the company website at www.himtnjerky.com.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Tributaries: Fish Are Moving In
  • Cold Snap Conditions

Today is Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Well spring is here at least on the calendar, but not by Mother Nature’s standards.  Yesterday was spring like but today feels more like January than mid-March.  Then by the weekend more spring like conditions will return and continue into next week. This cold snap again today will keep the ice around for just a while longer, but most of it should be gone by the first part of next week.

On Lake Alice, things are still pretty much closed down with the icing conditions.

On the upper portion of the “Oak,” Steelhead and Brown Trout are still be caught near the dam and in the portions of faster moving water.

The open sections of the mid-waters of the “Oak” are producing Perch, Northern Pike and even an occasional Walleye, but Walleye season is closed until May 6.

All of the smaller tributaries are still iced-over in the slower moving water sections.

Don’t forget that on Saturday, April 1st, they will be assembling the pens for the pen-rearing project so please come out and lend a hand.

Only 45 more days until the 1st day of the Spring LOC Derby.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

African Snake Bites Man on Staten Island

  • Lucky Man Survives Gaboon Viper Bite
  • Snake Was Illegal
  • Man Had No Permit

New York – A Staten Island was bitten on the hand by a deadly Gaboon Viper (Bitis Gabonica) while the man was

Decapitated head of the Gaboon Viper snake that bite a Staten Island man while cleaning the cage of the snake. The man survived.

cleaning its cage and was transported to Jacobi Medical Center in Bronx County.  The Gaboon viper is a snake species found in the rainforests and savannas of sub-Saharan Africa and is venomous.

On March 11, Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Wesley Leubner was on patrol in Westchester and Putnam counties when he heard a news report of a venomous snake bite in Staten Island.  ECO Leubner contacted Richmond County ECO Michael Hameline regarding the report.

ECO Hameline and ECO JT Rich visited the NYPD 121st Precinct in Staten Island to obtain detailed information about the snake.

After being bitten, the subject cut the snake’s head off with a knife and called 911.  NYPD arrived on scene and located the deceased Gaboon Viper, as well as a Red-Tailed Columbian Boa. Both snakes were secured by NYPD’s Emergency Services Unit and transported to the New York City Animal Care and Control office in Manhattan.

The subject was fortunate that the bite was a “dry” bite, meaning that no venom was injected into his hand.  He was able to check himself out of the hospital Saturday morning.  On March 12, ECOs Hameline and Rich interviewed the subject, who admitted to possessing both snakes without the required permits.  The subject was issued a summons for violating NYC Law pertaining to illegal pets, as well as a summons from the DEC for possessing a venomous reptile without a permit.

The case will be heard in Richmond County Court in May. The deceased vi

A Red-Tail Columbian Boa was also an illegal pet (due to no permit) in the same household.

per was seized into evidence; the constrictor is being cared for by NYC animal care and control.

 

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY E

nvironmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

 

In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, the black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

“From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling New York State are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and its natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos.  “They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes.  Although they don’t receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC’s mission to protect and enhance our environment.”

Outdoors Woman Program – Big Fish in New York

  • 6-hour Guided Fishing Trip with Captain Dave Wilson
  • Catch Salmon, Trout and Steelhead
  • 28′ Baha Cruiser, Boat Has Enclosed Private Bathroom  
  • All Fishing Gear Provided No Fishing Experience Necessary
Ladies can catch King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and/or Steelhead during the 6 hour guided fishing trip.

NYSDECThe Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program is once again teaming up with Captain Dave Wilson to offer some Beyond BOW Women’s Guided Fishing Trips on Lake Ontario.  The women who went fishing year caught fish (see one of the fish on the attached flier, http://www.captaindavewilson.com/409952) and had fun!

Enjoy a 6 hour guided fishing trip for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout and/or Steelhead with Captain Dave Wilson aboard his 28′ Baha Cruiser. All fishing equipment is provided.  No fishing experience necessary. The boat has an enclosed bathroom with plumbing!  Open to women age 18 or over.

July 9, 2017 at 5:30 am or 1:30 pm
July 23, 2017 at 5:30 am or 1:30 pm
July 30, 2017 at 5:30 am or 1:30 pm
August 5, 2017 5:30 am or 1:30 pm
August 6, 2017 5:30 am or 1:30 pm
All depart from Oswego Marina, Oswego, NY

Fee: $125 – $150 per person depending on the number of women on the boat.  What to bring: http://www.captaindavewilson.com/409952.

Pre-registration is required. Contact Captain Dave Wilson at 315-481-5716 or captaindavewilson@yahoo.comDetails about boat and trip, etc.: http://www.captaindavewilson.com/.

These fishing trips sold out last year, so reserve your spot early.

For more on Women Activities in New York: Visit Becoming an Outdoors-Woman on the web at http://www.dec.ny.gov/education/68.html

FISHING FANS Will Experience LIVE COVERAGE of 47th Annual Bassmaster Classic

  • Classic LIVE Will Be Broadcasting in Real Time
  • Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods
  • George R. Brown Convention Center – Houston, TX
Cameras will be streaming live coverage of the Classic leaders on Lake Conroe back to the expo production facility, where hosts will break down the action for fans tuning in through Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN with hosts, Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona, and Davy Hite along with Dave Mercer and on-the-water reporter Robbie Floyd, will provide analysis and live updates. Forrest Fisher Photo

HOUSTON — Fifty-two of the world’s best bass anglers will head to Houston next week to compete for more than $1 million in the 2017 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, and fans will be able to follow the action as it happens.

Classic LIVE will be broadcasting in real time from the B.A.S.S. booth at the Classic Outdoors Expo presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods in the George R. Brown Convention Center.

“What an incredible venue we have this year being set up in the heart of Houston, Texas, and watching the action unfold live on a lake that some anglers are saying might produce multiple 10-pound-plus bass,” said Mike McKinnis, vice president of media content for JM Associates and producer of The Bassmasters TV show on ESPN2.

Cameras will be streaming live coverage of the Classic leaders on Lake Conroe back to the expo production facility, where hosts will break down the action for fans tuning in through Bassmaster.com and WatchESPN.  Hosts Tommy Sanders, Mark Zona, and Davy Hite along with Dave Mercer and on-the-water reporter Robbie Floyd, will provide analysis and live updates.

This year, special guest Brian Robison of the Minnesota Vikings will also be onsite for the Classic LIVE show to provide some local insight. Robison played for the University of Texas and calls Lake Conroe his home lake.

Also, special guest RJ Mitte, who plays Walter White Jr. on the series “Breaking Bad,” will be joining the set at the expo.

The 2016 version of “Classic LIVE” reached nearly 12 million minutes viewed during the three-day event.

Each day of competition will have six hours of coverage, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Watch the tournament leaders catch bass in real time on the exclusive Classic LIVE program on Bassmaster.com and simulcast on ESPN3 and the WatchESPN app.

Facebook Live broadcasts will be added to the coverage this year, on the B.A.S.S. Facebook page, including coverage of takeoff on Day 1, the Toyota Mid-Day Report all three days around noon, and the press conference with the Top 6 anglers after each competition day.

Also on Bassmaster.com, fans can keep up with every fish caught through BASSTrakk, a real-time leaderboard that shows each angler’s catch according to estimates of marshals assigned to each competitor’s boat. In addition, on-the-water reporters provide a running commentary on the action in the Live Blog.

“Through those features, along with videos and photo galleries, we’ll have the lake covered from top to bottom,” said Jim Sexton, B.A.S.S. VP/Digital. “And we’ll cover every inch of the Minute Maid Park weigh-ins and the Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo, as well.”

Qualifying anglers for the classic this year:

Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C. (8)

Drew Benton, Panama City, Fla. (1)

Hank Cherry, Maiden, N.C. (3)

Jason Christie, Park Hill, Okla. (5)

Keith Combs, Huntington, Texas (6)

Scott Clift, Dadeville, Mo. (1)

Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La. (4)

Ott DeFoe, Knoxville, Tenn. (6)

Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala. (8)

Brent Ehrler, Newport Beach, Calif. (2)

James Elam, Tulsa, Okla. (2)

Edwin Evers, Talala, Okla. (16)

Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas (15)

John Garrett, Union City, Tenn. (1)

Shaw Grigsby, Gainesville, Fla. (16)

Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La. (14)

Skylar Hamilton, Dandridge, Tenn. (1)

Wil Hardy, Harlem, Ga. (1)

Charlie Hartley, Grove City, Ohio (2)

Matt Herren, Ashville, Ala. (7)

Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz. (5)

Randy Howell, Guntersville, Ala. (15)

Michael Iaconelli, Pittsgrove, N.J. (18)

Alton Jones Sr., Lorena, Texas (18)

Alton Jones Jr., Lorena, Texas (1)

Steve Kennedy, Auburn, Ala. (8)

Timothy Klinger, Boulder City, Nev. (1)

Bobby Lane, Lakeland, Fla. (10)

Ryan Lavigne, Gonzales, La. (1)

Jordan Lee, Vinemont, Ala. (3)

Dave Lefebre, Erie, Pa. (2)

Jared Lintner, Arroyo Grande, Calif. (6)

Bill Lowen, Brookville, Ind. (9)

Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala. (3)

Aaron Martens, Leeds, Ala. (18)

Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif. (10)

Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C. (3)

Darrell Ocamica, Fruitland, Idaho (1)

Takahiro Omori, Emory, Texas (12)

Brandon Palaniuk, Hayden, Idaho (7)

Clifford Pirch, Payson, Ariz. (4)

Jacob Powroznik, Port Haywood, Va. (3)

Skeet Reese, Auburn, Calif. (17)

Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz. (15)

Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky. (1)

Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn. (2)

Gerald Swindle, Guntersville, Ala. (16)

Randall Tharp, Port St. Joe, Fla. (4)

Kevin VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich. (26)

Jesse Wiggins, Cullman, Ala. (1)

Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C. (2)

Chris Zaldain, San Jose, Calif. (3)

 *Number in parentheses represents the number of times each angler has qualified.

 

For more, please visit:  http://www.bassmastermedia.com/article/FishingFansWillExperienceLiveCoverageOf47thAnnualBassmasterClassic

 

 

New Fishing Rods: St. Croix’s BASS X

  • Delivers Affordable Performance
  • Sets New Standards

By STOadmin

Bass anglers are becoming more discriminating every year. They demand more out of their gear and they are expecting performance at an affordable price. The NEW BASS X series from St. Croix delivers, meeting those objectives, with an array of rods that answer definitive angler demands.

Each of the 14 BASS X rods are constructed of SCII graphite providing the foundation of lightness and sensitivity.  Fuji® reel seats on both the casting & spinning models are paired with hard aluminum-oxide guides – a winning platform for casting, retrieving and fighting worthy denizens of the deep.  While the technology drives design, the aesthetics of the blank, guides, and split grip handles ensure these rods look and feel as good as they fish.

BASS X rods were designed in Park Falls, Wisconsin, and are handcrafted in our Fresnillo, Mexico, facility.  They retail for $100 – $110 to allow BASS X to deliver incomparable value.  When paired with a 5-year warranty backed by its Superstar Service, St. Croix delivers on its goal of affordable performance.

About St. Croix Rod Company: St. Croix Rod is a family-owned and managed manufacturer of high-performance fishing rods headquartered in Park Falls, Wisconsin with a 68-year heritage of USA manufacturing. Utilizing proprietary technologies, St. Croix controls every step of the rod-making process, from conception and design to manufacturing and inspection, in two company-owned facilities. The company offers a complete line of premium, American-made fly, spinning and casting rods under their Legend Elite,® Legend® Xtreme, Legend Tournament,® Avid Series,® Premier,® Wild River,® Tidemaster,® Imperial® and other trademarks through a global distribution network of full-service fishing tackle dealers. The company’s mid-priced Triumph,® Mojo Bass/Musky/Inshore/Surf, Eyecon® and Rio Santo series rods are designed and engineered in Park Falls, Wisconsin and built in a new, state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Fresnillo, Mexico. Founded in 1948 to manufacture jointed bamboo fishing poles for a Minneapolis hardware store chain, St. Croix has grown to become the largest manufacturer of fishing rods in North America.

Rage Offers Brand New Turkey Broadhead

  • Tested and Proven, Slip-Cam Mechanical is Deadly
  • New Meat-Hook Design for Turkey  

SUPERIOR, Wis. — Rage has designed a new broadhead specifically for turkey hunters that will eliminate the problem of a flopping-then-fleeing gobbler following an otherwise fast and deadly pass-through. The new Rage Turkey broadhead features a new cut-on-contact tip with a pair of massive Meat Hooks to inflict maximum lethal damage, all while slowing the arrow enough to anchor the bird. This Turkey Broadhead combines a gigantic 2 1/8-inch-cutting-diameter, two-blade Slip-Cam broadhead with the Meat-Hook Tip to stop a turkey dead in its tracks.

This new Rage Turkey broadhead features a pair of surgically ground, .035-inch-thick stainless steel blades that produce an initial slap-cut entry hole of nearly 3 inches, and while the Meat-Hook Tip has a 9/16-cutting diameter in its own right, a pair of blunt notches on each side of the tip were designed to slow the arrow as quickly as possible upon impact to potentially impair one or both wings for a faster, safer kill.

The 100-grain Rage Turkey Broadhead also features an extremely aerodynamic, precision-machined and anodized aluminum ferrule paired with the proprietary Rage Shock Collar™ for optimum blade retention and consistently reliable blade deployment. The 100-gr. weight on this new broadhead offers archers the ability to change broadheads with little, if any, adjustment to their bow setup between seasons.

The new Rage Turkey Broadhead is available at retailers nationwide and conveniently online at www.ragebroadheads.com for a suggested retail price of $29.99 for a two-pack.

Rage Outdoors is the world’s number-one manufacturer of expandable broadheads. It also manufactures quivers and accessories. A Feradyne Outdoors brand, Rage is headquartered at 101 Main Street, Superior, WI 54880; call 866-387-9307; or visit www.ragebroadheads.com.

 

 

 

Delta Waterfowl Report Explores Looming Crisis: Declining Numbers of Duck Hunters

  • USA Waterfowl Hunter Population Down 50%
  • Canada Waterfowl Hunter Numbers Drop 70%
Picture reprinted with permission from Delta Waterfowl Foundation, The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the tradition of duck hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.

Read the full report online at deltawaterfowl.org or in the Spring Issue of Delta Waterfowl magazine

By STOadmin

BISMARCK, N.D. — We need more waterfowl hunters, and so do the ducks. A Special Report in the Spring Issue of Delta Waterfowl magazine explores why we’ve lost hundreds of thousands of waterfowl hunters since 1970, the threat this poses for the future of hunting and conservation, and what we can do about it.

The 10-page report is posted in its entirety at deltawaterfowl.org/looming-crisis.

Among the findings: There were 2.03 million active U.S. waterfowl hunters in 1970, and only 998,600 in 2015. The steepest declines have occurred since 1997, despite high duck populations, lengthy hunting seasons and liberal bag limits.

Canada’s waterfowler numbers have fallen even more drastically, peaking in 1978 at 505,681 and declining to fewer than 170,000 today.

This trend should alarm anyone who cares about waterfowl hunting and wetland conservation.

“We tell folks to support conservation — to replace the ducks they shoot every year,” said John Devney, vice president of U.S. policy for Delta Waterfowl. “We should also be telling them that you must replace yourself as a duck hunter. It’s as important as buying a federal duck stamp.”

 

 

Remington Responds to 60 Minutes

  • Firearm Safety Remains Remington Number One Priority
  • Remington Distressed Much Information Not Presented
Visit: http://xmprecall.remington.com/

With Firearm Safety their number one priority, Remington Arms Company, LLC (“Remington”) is voluntarily recalling Remington Model 700™ and Model Seven™ rifles which were manufactured from May 1, 2006 through April 9, 2014 and which have a X-Mark Pro® (“XMP®”) trigger. Rifles manufactured after April 9, 2014 are not subject to recall. Visit this link for more info: http://xmprecall.remington.com/.

On February 19, 2017, the 60 Minutes television program broadcast a segment about Remington Arms Company, LLC and two tragic incidents which occurred in 2011.  In narrating the details related to each incident, 60 Minutes omitted and misrepresented key facts which would have allowed the viewer to have an accurate and complete understanding about each.  For example, 60 Minutes knew but did not disclose that both of the rifles in question were examined and tested by forensic scientists employed by each state’s crime lab and were found to be in proper working order.  Remington provides this response to offer a more complete record of the relevant facts and a comprehensive overview of the incidents described in the story, and the recall which was at the center of the story.

The 60 Minutes segment showcased two separate incidents which it alleged stemmed from issues related to the rifles’ trigger mechanisms.  Although Remington shared voluminous information and spent hours providing background information to 60 Minutes related to the recall and the two incidents, 60 Minutes failed to offer its viewers critical facts and content core to each incident.  It is imperative that 60 Minutes viewers, our customers and the public, have accurate and complete information related to these two incidents as well as to the recall of Model 700 rifles with X-Mark Pro (“XMP”) triggers and the settlement of the Pollard v. Remington class action lawsuit. 

Remington stands behind the safety and reliability of its products and vehemently denies allegations by 60 Minutes and others that there is any design defect in another trigger mechanism, the Walker trigger mechanism.  Remington made a commercial decision to put an end to the expense and uncertainty of protracted litigation, and agreed to settle the Pollard class action on terms which are in the best interests of Remington and its valued customers.

Separately, after Remington’s own investigation determined that there was a possible assembly error affecting some XMP triggers, in April 2014 the company immediately and voluntarily issued an international recall on all Remington products with XMP trigger mechanisms manufactured from May 1, 2006 to April 9, 2014 and broadly promoted and advertised the recall.  Under the recall program, over 350,000 XMP trigger mechanisms have been replaced.  Firearm safety remains our number one priority.

Remington was first contacted by a 60 Minutes producer in October 2016 advising that CBS was “working on a [60 Minutes segment] in regards to the XMP recall and the pending Pollard Class Action Settlement.”  The 60 Minutes producers, representing that CBS was interested in airing “a complete, well-rounded, and accurate report,” asked Remington to provide background information about Model 700 rifles and about two independent incidents involving Model 700 rifles.  Given this representation and with the hope that 60 Minutes was truly interested in producing a balanced and accurate report, Remington sent 60 Minutes numerous records and information on those topics, and it also directed CBS to specific, readily available public records related to the topics chosen as the focus by 60 Minutes.

It is distressing that most of the information Remington provided to 60 Minutes was not included or ever referenced in its February 19, 2017 Remington segment.  To set the record straight and to provide Remington’s valued customers and viewers of the 60 Minutes segment with a complete and accurate understanding of several of the matters presented in the segment, Remington provides below a listing of information either in 60 Minutes’ possession or readily available to it in public records before it aired its segment.  This material puts the 60 Minutes’ segment in context and exposes 60 Minutes’ pre-determined viewpoint and intentional omission of key facts that would have reflected balanced reporting of the circumstances of those tragic incidents.

Topic 1:  The Stringer Incident

60 Minutes presented the tragic story from Mississippi of then 15-year-old Zachary Stringer shooting and killing his 11-year-old brother with a Model 700 rifle in June of 2011.  60 Minutes represented that Zachary was convicted in the shooting death of his brother with a Remington rifle even though Zachary “insisted it went off by itself.”  Leslie Stahl then suggested that the rifle fired because of a potential manufacturing defect (excess bonding agent) which prompted Remington in April of 2014 to voluntarily recall all Model 700 rifles with XMP trigger mechanisms.  Remington had previously explained to the 60 Minutes producers that to be subject to the recall condition of a potential unintentional discharge caused by excess bonding agent on the blocker screw, the excess bonding agent had to be of a certain consistency and the rifle had to be being used in certain cold weather conditions.  The rifle was indisputably not being used in cold weather conditions when it was being handled by Zachary Stringer inside his home in Mississippi in June of 2011.

When 60 Minutes told Remington before the segment aired that it intended to address the Stringer tragedy, Remington sent 60 Minutes the following materials:  (1) the Mississippi Supreme Court decision affirming the manslaughter conviction of Zachary Stringer; and (2) the transcript of the trial testimony of the forensic scientist from the Mississippi Crime Lab who had examined and tested the rifle.  The Supreme Court decision set out in great detail the facts of the incident and the trial transcript of the forensic scientist’s testimony detailed her examination and testing of the rifle conducted after the shooting.  CBS withheld the following facts from these materials in its possession:

·         According to the Supreme Court decision, Zachary gave law enforcement officers three conflicting and inconsistent accounts of how the shooting occurred.  In his initial handwritten statement given to officers in the presence of his parents two days after the shooting, Zachary claimed his brother had shot himself while the two of them were home alone.  Zachary later admitted that immediately after he shot his brother, he put his Remington rifle back in his closet.  He then retrieved his brother’s shotgun, “fired a round into the woods, and placed the shotgun between [his brother’s] legs” in an effort “to make it look like an accident.”

·         In Zachary’s second statement, given almost two months after the first statement and in the presence of his attorney, he claimed that after his brother shot the family dog with a dart gun, Zachary retrieved his Remington rifle from his bedroom.  Without checking the rifle’s action, Zachary claimed the rifle fired as he got up from the couch in the living room.

·         In Zachary’s third statement (given a week after his second statement), he claimed his brother was pestering him and pretending to shoot him with the dart gun.  At that point, Zachary said he threatened to shoot his brother if he continued to pester him, and he loaded a round in the chamber of his Remington rifle.  Zachary claimed the shooting that followed was accidental.

·         As shown by Mississippi Supreme Court decision and the trial transcript provided to 60 Minutes, the rifle was examined and tested after the incident by a forensic scientist from the Mississippi Crime Laboratory.  As the transcript of testimony from the trial shows, the forensic scientist performed functional-reliability tests on the rifle, including drop and impact tests, and the rifle did not accidentally discharge and was determined to be “in good working order.” 

In sum, the following materials were not referenced or acknowledged by 60 Minutes although they were provided to 60 Minutes and are linked herein:  (1) the opinion by the Mississippi Supreme Court; and (2) the transcript of trial testimony of firearms examiner for the Mississippi Crime Lab.

Topic 2:  The North Carolina Incident

60 Minutes also reported on a shooting incident occurring on December 23, 2011, in Columbus County, North Carolina.  One woman was killed and two others injured by a single bullet discharged from the bedroom inside a neighbor’s house across the street.  The 23-year-old neighbor and owner of the Remington rifle claimed he was retrieving the rifle (which was in a gun case) from his bedroom closet.  Thinking the rifle was unloaded, the neighbor pulled the rifle from the case with his right hand while holding a cell phone in his left hand.  As he pulled the rifle out of the case, it discharged.  The bullet traveled through his bedroom window and across the street where it struck the three women as they were walking to their car.

60 Minutes suggested that the rifle fired without the trigger being pulled because of the potential manufacturing defect which prompted the April 2014 XMP trigger recall.  When 60 Minutes told Remington that the segment might include the North Carolina incident, Remington sent the 60 Minutes producers the following materials (none of which were referenced or acknowledged by 60 Minutes in the segment):  (1) the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation’s report on its examination and testing of the rifle in question; (2) the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s report on its separate examination of the rifle; (3) the initial report and the subsequent deposition transcript of the firearms expert hired by the attorneys for the women’s families in their subsequent lawsuit against Remington; (4) the transcript of the recorded statement given to local law enforcement on the day of the incident by the neighbor who was handling the rifle; and (5) an e-mail string between the attorneys representing the families of the women regarding their expert’s findings on examining the rifle.  In addition, 60 Minutes had knowledge of, and access to, the Mecklenburg County court file which included the complete transcript of the deposition of the neighbor.  In airing the portion of its segment concerning the North Carolina incident, 60 Minutes withheld and omitted the following facts:

·         On the day of the incident, the neighbor told law enforcement that the rifle fired because “I must have bumped the trigger.”

·         The neighbor testified at his deposition that he thought the rifle was unloaded at the time of the incident.

·         The NCSBI examined the rifle and found it to be functioning properly.

·         The FBI examined the rifle at its Quantico, VA laboratory and found it to be functioning normally.

·         In his initial report of March 31, 2014, the firearms expert hired by the family’s attorneys stated that, based on his examination and testing of the rifle, it “displayed no conditional nor configurational defects that would cause it to fire in the absence of a depressed trigger.”

·         In an e-mail string between the family’s attorneys, they reported that their firearms expert found the rifle to be “within factory specs with no visible defects.”

·         In his deposition of May 14, 2015, the expert hired by the family’s attorneys testified to the following:  (A) his opinion that at the time of the shooting the man handling the rifle did not know it was loaded; (B) the rifle’s safety was in the “OFF” or “FIRE” position at the time of the incident; (C) if the safety had been engaged in the “ON” or “SAFE” position, the rifle would not have fired under any circumstances; (D) during his inspection of the rifle, he never found any excess bonding agent (Loctite) to be in any way interfering with the safe operation of the rifle; and (E) that in the usage of the rifle before the incident and in the multitude of tests performed on the rifle after the incident, the only way the rifle could be made to discharge was by pulling the trigger.

The materials provided to 60 Minutes by Remington and linked herein included the following:  (1) the NCSBI report; (2) the FBI report; (3) the statement of the gunhandler given to law enforcement on the day of the shooting; (4) the transcript of deposition of the expert witness hired by the plaintiffs’ attorneys; (5) the initial March 31, 2014 report of the plaintiffs’ expert; and (6) an e-mail string between plaintiffs’ attorneys.

Topic 3:  Verdicts in 2008 and 2011

60 Minutes also made reference to a 1994 verdict against Remington in a case involving a Model 700 rifle with a Walker trigger mechanism (the Collins case).  60 Minutes did not disclose that in the only two injury cases tried to verdict since the Collins case involving Remington trigger mechanisms containing the connector component, both juries returned verdicts in Remington’s favor finding that the Remington trigger mechanisms were not defective.  Both of these verdicts were provided to 60 Minutes before the segment aired, and 60 Minutes intentionally failed to disclose these verdicts to its viewers.  The verdicts provided to 60 Minutes are linked herein:  (1) the 2008 jury verdict in Williams v. Remington; and (2) the 2011 jury verdict in Hull v. Remington.

Conclusion

For decades, Remington bolt-action rifles have been a favorite of millions of American hunters, target shooters, law enforcement and military personnel.  Remington continues to stand behind the safety and reliability of its firearms.  That is certainly true for its bolt-action centerfire rifles, including the Model 700, which has earned its reputation among millions of satisfied users as America’s most popular, reliable and trusted bolt-action rifle.

 

Too Many Lies, Too Many Crappies – Oneida River

New York State Conservation Officers catch illegal poachers in Onondaga County.
  • Onondaga County, New York

On Feb. 28, 2017, Environmental Conservation Officer (ECO) Mark Colesante received an anonymous tip that fishermen were catching and keeping over the legal limit of black crappies on the Oneida River.  Knowing that the location is private, secluded, and a fishing hot spot, ECO Colesante called ECO Don Damrath for assistance.  The two officers watched the fishermen reel in a few fish and head for their truck.

The ECOs met the fishermen at the truck just as they were dumping hundreds of fish from their buckets into a cooler.  The men claimed half of the crappies were caught the day before, but couldn’t produce any evidence.  ECOs Colesante and Damrath issued summonses for possessing crappies over-the-limit and undersized fish, returnable to Town of Clay Court.

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) enforce the 71 Chapters of NY Environmental Conservation Law, protecting fish and wildlife and preserving environmental quality across New York.

In 2016, the 286 ECOs across the state responded to 26,400 calls and issued 22,150 tickets for crimes ranging from deer poaching to corporate toxic dumping and illegal mining, black market pet trade, and excessive emissions violations.

“From Montauk Point to Mount Marcy, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, the ECOs patrolling our state are the first line of defense in protecting New York’s environment and our natural resources, ensuring that they exist for future generations of New Yorkers,” said Commissioner Basil Seggos. “They work long and arduous hours, both deep in our remote wildernesses and in the tight confines of our urban landscapes. Although they don’t receive much public fanfare, the work of our ECOs is critical to achieving DEC’s mission to protect and enhance our environment.”

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Tributaries: Bank Ice, Nasty Wind
  • Wind and Snow Storm Conditions

Today is Wednesday, March 15, 2017.

It may only be 6 days until spring on the calendar, but Mother Nature has some different ideas.

The wind and snow of the past few days continues today with high winds, lake effect snow and cold temperatures which are keeping traveling almost impossible, and fishing just a fleeting thought.

Most tributaries within Orleans County have at least some bank ice and with the colder temperatures will continue to ice over. The temperature will not rise above the freezing mark until possibly Friday, but then will dip again next week.

Northwest winds are keeping Lady O riled up and will do so for at least the rest of today.

Fish seem to be smarter than we are because I’m sure that right now they have found a quiet place to hang out until conditions greatly improve.

Assembling the pens for the pen rearing project is still scheduled for April 1st at Ernst’s Lake Breeze Marina, so come out and help our continued success with this project.

Remember there are only 52 more days until the Spring LOC Derby begins.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.  Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

• Lake Ontario Tributaries: Browns, Steelies
• Crappie at Kenyonville Bridge

Today is Wednesday, March 8, 2017.

The rain of yesterday and today, along with the warmer temperatures, will give way to more seasonal conditions and by the weekend, expect temperatures in the 20’s with the possibility of some snow showers.
The only good thing that I can say about the weather is that we are that much closer to spring.
All the tributaries within Orleans County are still ice free for now, but bank ice could be in a possibility in the very near future.
Both Johnson Creek and the “Oak” are still producing a good mixture of steelhead and brown trout, even with both having slightly to moderately stained water. This rain could change that soon.
Bullhead are starting to be taken in our tributaries, but that could disappear with colder weather quickly approaching.
Perch, Bass, Crappie and Bluegill are being caught from the Kenyonville Bridge, but the numbers are up and down.
The winds have not been very favorable for small boats to work the shoreline on Lake Ontario and I have not heard of anyone producing much from casting from shore.
For most of us, spring cannot get here any too soon.
Lastly the pens for the pen rearing project will be assembled on Saturday, April 1st, so if you’re in the area, why not stop down and lend a hand. This a great project that is a chance to help out in keeping our fishery great.
From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.
Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

• Lake Ontario Tributaries Flowing
• Ice is gone, Some Boats in Water

Today is Wednesday, March 1, 2017.
Its spring, which will be followed later this week by winter and then either next week or the week after by spring again.

Word has it that the Welland Canal is due to open very soon which will put this opening as one of the earliest ever.

The ice is now just a memory, so the ice fishermen have lost yet another year to warmer weather.

Over this past weekend, fishing was good to very good on both Johnson Creek and the “Oak,” with good numbers of both brown trout and steelhead being caught.

From what I’m told, egg sacs seemed to be the secret weapon of choice.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” Perch are being taken, but you still have to sort through them to get a good catch.

All of the ice is off Lake Alice and fishermen are catching Bluegill, Perch and some Crappie off the Kenyonville Bridge. Again you have to sort through the smaller ones for a decent catch.

On Lake Ontario, when the winds are kind, smaller boats are working the discharges of our tributaries and producing brown trout, steelhead and an occasional Coho.

Just think, only 64 more days until the first day of the Spring LOC Derby!

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County. We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

IFA Redfish Tours Open Season at Punta Gorda, Florida

The clear and warmer than usual waters off the southwest Florida coast at Laishley Park in Punta Gorda, will be the site this weekend where Redfish Anglers will gather to compete on March 3 (boats) and 4 (kayaks). Photo Credit: Hobie Fishing

•  IFA 2017 Florida West Division events set for March 4-5
•  Fastest-Growing Inshore Fishing Tournament Series
•  Powerboats March 4, Kayaks March 5

By STOadmin

The Inshore Fishing Association (IFA) and inshore anglers from across Florida and surrounding regions will converge at Punta Gorda, Florida, March 4-5, for the season-opening events for the 2017 IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela’s and IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing.

The IFA Redfish Tour Presented by Cabela’s will begin its activities on Friday, March 3, with tournament registration from 5-7 p.m. at Laishley Park (120 Laishley Ct., Punta Gorda, FL 33950), followed by the captain’s meeting.  Anglers will launch from the marina at safe light on Saturday, March 4.  Check-in times will be assigned at Friday’s captain’s meeting with anglers returning to the marina for the weigh-in, which is set to begin at 3 p.m.

Competitors in the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Presented by Hobie Fishing will have registration from 6-7 p.m. with captains meeting to follow on Saturday, March 4, at Laishley Park. Anglers will launch Sunday, March 5, from the location of their choice and return to the marina for the weigh-in. Check in times will be announced at Saturday’s captain’s meeting.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Tributaries 
  • Streams are Flowing, Some Boats in Water

Today is Wednesday February 22, 2017.

Above normal temperatures continue thru the rest of this week and well into next week.

Yesterday there were small boats on Lake Ontario working the shoreline around the tributary discharges and from what I’m told, some brown trout were being taken.

On the “Oak” the best fishing seems to be close to the power generating facility with the flow being almost entirely from the generator discharge, where both steelhead and browns were being taken.  Flows were up to high and visibility reduced to about 2 feet.

Both Johnson and Sandy Creeks have good flows and both were producing a decent number of fish.

Marsh Creek flows were at a normal level but no reports from anyone who has fished it.

On the lower stretches of the “Oak” fishing for Perch should be good to very good, but I have had no reports.

On Tuesday March 7th, Thursday March 9th and Monday March 13th, the DEC will be holding their State-of-the-Lake meetings at Lockport, Rochester and Pulaski respectively.  This is your chance to hear their presentations and ask questions so if you have any concerns please plan on attending one of these meetings.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Opening Day Trout Fishing is Just Ahead

  • Fishing the Opener is Tradition
  • Opening Day Fishing, About Making Memories 
  • Memories With Friends Last for All Time 

By Brent Frazee

When Chet Snyder had a seizure in the winter of 2015, he had one pressing question for his doctor.

“Can I go fishing two days from now?”

Understand, this was no ordinary fishing trip.  Snyder was chosen to be the honorary starter of the 2015 trout season at his beloved Bennett Spring State Park in south-central Missouri.  And Snyder considered that a priority.

The doctor gave his approval, so Snyder’s family and friends made sure he got there.

“The doctor said I could go, as long as I didn’t drive,” said Snyder, now 82 and living in Grandview, Mo.. “That wasn’t a problem.  So, I made it to another opener.”

By that point, fishing the trout opener had become tradition for Snyder.  He and his good friend, Tom Harber, had attended every opener together since 1956.

The plan that day called for Snyder to sound the opening siren and for Harber to sound the closing signal.  But Harber’s failing health didn’t allow him to attend, so Snyder was a one-man show.

Harber passed away in 2016, leaving a huge void in Snyder’s life.  But he still has plenty of great memories and he plans to carry on with tradition.

A large photo of Snyder sounding the siren to open the 2015 trout season is a centerpiece in his home, a reminder of the day he was a celebrity at the park he loves.

“That really was a special day,” Snyder recalled.  “It was cold and snowy and it wasn’t easy getting down there.

“But fishing the opener is about tradition.  No matter what Mother Nature throws at you, you have to be down there.”

Few fishermen have followed that tradition as long as Snyder has. He has been going to Bennett Spring since his childhood days, when he would tag along with his mom and dad to the beautiful park.

Bennett was far different then. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to build some of the stone buildings, cabins, bridges and roads that still cut through the park.

Crowds were nowhere near as large as they are today, and the fishing was far different, though the waters were still stocked by the state.

“I remember falling off a stool and cracking my head open,” Snyder recalled. “There was a doctor there and he stitched me up, and we went on fishing.”

Snyder also remembers one of the first days he helped with the driving.

“I was 16 and I had just started driving,” he said with a laugh. “I was driving home while my dad slept.

“Well, it started snowing and the roads got icy. My dad woke up and he said, ‘Why didn’t you wake me up?’ “

Snyder’s wife, Jo Ann, also remembers another opening day, when she felt obligated to go with the guys to see what the excitement was all about.

“It was in 1958, a year after we got married, and it was cold,” she said.  “We tried to sleep in a pup tent, but it was so cold that we couldn’t get to sleep.

“So we were up all night, staying by the fire.”

Jo Ann tried fly fishing for the first time the following morning, but it wasn’t a great experience.

“I hooked more men than trout,” she said. “That was it for me.”

Jo Ann still looks forward to March 1, when her husband can join thousands of others at Missouri’s four trout parks – Bennett Spring, Roaring River, Montauk and Maramec Spring —  for the opener.

“March first is always a big day around here,” she said. “Chet’s always back at Bennett, fishing.

“That’s just a family tradition with us.”

 

Brent Frazee retired from The Kansas City Star in 2016 after 36 years as the outdoors editor. You can read more of his work on his website, brentfrazee.com.  He can be reached by emailing brentgonefishing@gmail.com.

Colorado Elk Herd in Crosshairs

  • Wolves May Be Added to Colorado Landscape
  • Elk Population Recovery in Question
  • Wolf Population Management Control in Question

By STOadmin

MISSOULA, Mont.—The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation is raising a word of warning about a “quiet” movement in Colorado seeking to place wolves on the landscape. It also has grave concerns about the tactics used by environmentalists and animal rights groups behind such efforts.
A representative of a wolf advocacy group, the Turner Endangered Species Fund, recently addressed a gathering of Colorado citizens claiming the placement of wolves on the Colorado landscape is “most germane” to the state’s future, and added “there’s no downside and there’s a real big upside.”

RMEF strongly disputes those claims.

“Wolves have a measureable and oftentimes detrimental impact on big game management wherever they go. Their reintroduction into the Northern Rocky Mountains led to a reduction of the Northern Yellowstone herd by more than 80 percent,” said David Allen, RMEF president and CEO. “Among other things, wolves also greatly reduced elk numbers to dangerously low levels in central Idaho and have a profound impact on declining moose and deer populations in the Western Great Lakes region.”

The Northern Yellowstone Elk herd numbered more than 19,000 before wolf reintroduction in the mid-1990s but dropped below 4,000 in 2012. Increasing grizzly, black bear and mountain lion populations also played a role in the decline. Minnesota’s moose population numbered approximately 8,840 in 2006 but since dropped 55 percent to an estimated 4,020 in 2016.

“We have also witnessed time and time again that  pro-wolf groups seek to ignore agreed upon population recovery goals, thus moving the goals posts, so to speak, by filing obstructionist lawsuits designed to drag out or deny the delisting process altogether and  allowing wolf populations to soar well above  agreed upon levels,” said Allen. “These groups totally ignore what they themselves agree to once they get wolves on the landscape and they use lawsuits to manipulate the system, ignoring state-based management. And, in many cases the American taxpayers are paying for their legal fees,” Allen added.

Animal rights groups filed at least nine lawsuits regarding wolf populations in the Northern Rockies and at least six others affecting wolves in the Western Great Lakes, as well as several others that have impacted the listing status of wolves across the contiguous 48 states. Currently, two cases are pending in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, affecting listing status in Wyoming and in the Western Great Lake states.

As part of the wolf reintroduction efforts in the mid-1990s, federal and state agencies agreed to delist wolves and place them under state management when the original minimum recovery levels reached 100 wolves each in Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. Wolves met those delisting standards in 2002 but 2015 minimum populations were nearly 500 percent above that—786 in Idaho, 536 in Montana and 382 in Wyoming. The original population objective for wolves in the Western Great Lakes was 1,350 but at last count the overall minimum population numbered greater than 3,600.

Though well above minimum population levels, federal protections remain in place for wolves in the Western Great Lakes region and Wyoming due to environmental lawsuits.

“An unhealthy and litigious precedent has been set that once pro-wolf groups get a foot in the reintroduction door, they kick it open and file lawsuit after lawsuit to stymy the delisting process while using the wolf as a fundraising tool. Colorado’s elk population will be next in the crosshairs,” cautioned Allen. ”And by the way wolves are nowhere near endangered.”

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Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

  • Lake Ontario Tributaries 
  • Not Much Ice Fishing!

Today is Wednesday February 15, 2017.

As quickly as the ice starts forming, the temperature rises above freezing and then it’s gone again.  The only good news about that is that we are just that much closer to spring and the start of lake fishing season.

On the tributaries within Orleans County, all are open with the smaller ones having just a bit of shore ice and slush.

On the “Oak” steelhead are still being taken with some larger ones caught right at the dam.  The smaller tributaries are still offering some good fishing opportunities with moderate water flow and around 2 feet of visibility.

The only ice fishing reports that I have heard of in our area are on the ponds close to Lake Ontario in Greece, but I wouldn’t count on that for too long.  Reports I have received are that the Perch fishing hasn’t been bad on those ponds.

This weekend I will be in Pennsylvania in the city of Monroeville for the Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show. So stop by and chat for a while.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Boating Enthusiasts Lead Congressional Boating Caucus

  • Recreational Boaters Benefit from Efforts
  • Issues Include Everglades, Fisheries Management Reform
  •   Boating Safety, Industry Standards
The new co-chairs of the House of Representatives Recreational Boating Caucus are Representative Lois Frankel (D-Florida) and Representative Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey). BoatUS Photo

By STOadmin

WASHINGTON, DC- February 13, 2017: The Congressional Boating Caucus was formed in 1989 as an informal, bipartisan group of US Senators and Representatives to advocate for the interests of the recreational boating industry. Recreational boaters have also benefitted from the Caucus’ leadership on shared issues such as restoration of the Everglades, fisheries management reform, flood protection efforts, and projects that support waterway access.

Today, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) joined with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) to welcome the new co-chairs of the House of Representatives Recreational Boating Caucus, Representative Lois Frankel (D-Florida) and Representative Tom MacArthur (R-New Jersey).

Representative MacArthur is an active New Jersey shore boater and tourism advocate, while Representative Frankel, a House Infrastructure and Transportation Committee member, hails from the number #1 boating state in the nation and is a boating and angling enthusiast.

“This is exciting news for boaters,” said BoatUS Government Affairs Senior Program Manager David Kennedy. “Representatives MacArthur and Frankel will provide great leadership on issues that matter for those of us who love to spend time on the water.”

Added Kennedy: “Boat owners need the products, competition and innovation that only a strong domestic boating industry can bring. To enable boating to continue to be a $121 billion industry in this country, we need smart long-term sustainable policy on everything from the ethanol mandate to dredging. BoatUS also recognizes NMMA’s great efforts in growing the Caucus.”

BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. On the water, TowBoatUS brings boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.

Bucket List Trip: Rainy Lake

  • CAMPFIRE ISLAND: Big Fish, Lots of Fish
  • Delicious Food, Lots of Food
  • Great Fishing Spots, Great Guides, Hot Lures 

By Jamie Wilson

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 1of6As anglers we all have a list of lakes, rivers and streams that have the potential to satisfy our ultimate desire; to completely outdo ourselves. This past season (early June) I encountered one such body of water; beautiful Rainy Lake which borders Ontario and Minnesota.

A group of writers, tackle company owners and reps were invited to the Share The Outdoors Media Event to field test new products from companies such as Clam, St.Croix, Live Target Lures, Gamma Fishing Line and Frabill. The accommodation for this event was Campfire Island which is a hop, skip and a jump from Fort Francis, Ontario, Canada.

The first thing that jumped out at me, besides the beauty and splendor of the lake, was the emphasis for success on the water by owner and operator of Campfire Island, Wayne Howard.  Wayne left no stone unturned pertaining to potential hot spots around the lake along with various presentations, depths and key structure/cover to focus on. He made sure that when we left his dock, we had – at the very least, a crystal clear picture of where to start and how to tempt the Rainy Lake fish contingency.

Campfire Island is geared towards a fishing experience not to be forgotten, as is described on their website “pack the appropriate clothing for the time of year, pack a toothbrush, find your favorite rods and reels, and leave the rest to us”.

The Accommodations

Now, obviously, world class fishing is a high priority, but to most people, so is being well fed and comfortable.  When they say “leave the rest to us” they weren’t kidding. Aside from the amazing fishing related insights from Wayne (which we will get to in a minute), we really didn’t have to think about anything, but, well, fishing.

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 2of6Picture this, you have a fantastic night sleep in a big comfy bed, then you wake up to hot coffee in your cabin.  Next, you are treated to a big delicious breakfast just in time for your guide to grab your gear and whisk you away to the promised land of smallmouth bass, pike and walleye.  Oh, and I should mention, they send you on your way with a packed lunch and maybe even a wise crack from Wayne (if you are lucky).

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 3of6Fast forward to your return from a day of fast, furious fishing, the kind that one can only daydream about, and you are greeted by Wayne, who wants to get the lowdown on your day.  The main lodge is the perfect meeting place after a day on the water to tell as many lies as you want about your exploits.  Here you will find a counter full of snacks, a fridge full of whatever you fancy (beer for our group) and a beautiful view as a backdrop to all the fish stories you can stand.  To me, this is paradise and exactly what the doctor ordered.  What’s next?  Well, a delicious three-course dinner in a beautiful wood cabin that’s what.  I tell you, I must have gained five pounds during our event and I was not complaining.  The cabins are spacious and comfortable, the food is plentiful and so are the fish.  Win, win, win and that’s that.

Fishing Rainy Lake

Campfire Island is located on the Ontario side of Rainy Lake in close proximity to the Ontario/Minnesota border.  A quick boat ride from Sorting Gap Marina in Fort Frances and you’ve arrived at fishing heaven.  Being situated just south of the Noden Causeway, Campfire Island is the only Ontario fishing camp with easy access to both the southern and northern arms of Rainy Lake.

Campfire Island spells it out like this, “Our mantra: world class smallmouth bass, trophy northern pike, extraordinary walleye.  Our goal: to have our guests experience the world class fishery on Rainy Lake to its fullest extent”.  I will attest to that.  Day one of my trip was nothing short of amazing.

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 4of6After breakfast we got prepped and headed out only to be greeted with some of the most horrendous weather I have ever fished in by choice.  Severe cold front, high winds and rain had me in doubt and I tell you this, I couldn’t have been more wrong. My partner in crime on this trip, Gary Abernethy (Live Target and those great “Bait Cloud” lures) and I lost count of our catches.  It was simply unbelievable.  We boated an estimated 90+ fish that day which included smallmouth, pike and walleye.  I can’t describe how much fun it was to cast out a crankbait or tandem willow spinnerbait into shallow banks, points and reefs having no idea what would attack it next.  Our big fish producer for smallmouth that day was the Live Target Crawfish Square Bill in brown/chartreuse while various spinnerbaits with silver flashy blades accounted for large numbers of pike, smallmouth and the odd walleye.

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 5of6My set-up for spinnerbaits/jerkbaits was a 7’ St.Croix (med/heavy) “Mojo Bass” rod which performed flawlessly the duration of the trip.  I matched it with an Abu Garcia Ambassadeur reel spooled with 20-pound braid and paired with a 12-pound fluorocarbon leader (Gamma Edge).  For the crankbaits, I matched a 5.4:1 cranking reel (baitcaster) spooled with 10-pound fluorocarbon and paired up with a 6’6” medium-action (Jason Mitchell) rod which was buttery perfection for those square bills.  Day two was all about shallow diving jerkbaits, which by the way produced one of the biggest smallmouth of the entire trip.  Actually, it was a Live Target silver/blue Rainbow Smelt that triggered a post spawn smallmouth to attack.  Thanks again Gary.

For STO 02032017, FISHING and TRAVEL, Picture 6of6This short but successful outing was done on the southern arm with ace guide, Jamie Bruce. Again, we had only a couple of hours on the water and Rainy Lake produced once again. Really, this lake is nothing short of amazing.

Comfortable lodging, great food, beautiful surroundings and off the charts fishing.  What more can you ask for?  Do yourself a favor, put Rainy Lake on your bucket list, give Campfire Island a call, and tell them the good folks at Share the Outdoors (www.sharetheoutdoors.com) sent you.

Here is the Campfire Island website link: http://www.campfireisland.com/.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York 

Lake Ontario Trib’s – Browns/Steelies

Today is Wednesday February 1, 2017.

WELCOME TO WINTER

Just when it seems like the weather is turning in favor of the ice fishermen; Mother Nature takes it back yet again.

Colder weather stays with us thru part of the weekend, but then again goes above freezing for the first part of next week.

Shore ice is forming along the banks of all of the tributaries within Orleans County, so caution should be taken when entering any of our streams for the rest of this week.

There are some fresh steelhead being taken along with the resident fish and those conditions should remain thru next week.

The smaller tributaries should begin to ice over, but then should reopen as next week’s warm up takes place,

For the ice fishermen, it’s just one disappointment after another this year.

On the lower portions of the “Oak” – Conditions are not good for small boats, but that can change by early next week.

On Lake Alice – Open water is starting to ice over again, but the warm up will take care of that.

For 9 days, starting this Saturday, I will be attending the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  So if you are in the area, please stop by booth 4614 and say hi.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario Trib’s – Browns/Steelies

Today is Wednesday January 25, 2017.

We are in the midst of another reprieve from old man winter, at least for another day or two.

The smaller tributaries within Orleans County are at higher and muddier conditions.  This due to the warmer temperatures and rain/snow that we have had in the last day or two.

Conditions on the upper portion of the “Oak” from the dam to just before Marsh Creek offer some good opportunities for steelhead action and even a few brown trout have been taken.

All of the live baits and even some of the more popular flies are being used.

The lower portion of the “Oak,” from Marsh Creek north, is displaying muddy conditions, but that should only last for a day or two.

Lake Alice is open in some areas and has a very thin ice covering in others, so it is totally unusable for anglers right now.

With temperatures dropping below freezing again in the very near future, be mindful of ice buildup along the banks of our tributaries.

This weekend I will be attending the New York Sportsman’s Outdoor Expo in Syracuse so if you’re in the area, stop by and chat for a while.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario Trib’s – Browns/Steelies

Today is Wednesday January 18, 2017.

The rain of the past day or so, and the milder temperatures, should again give good flows to all of the tributaries within Orleans County.

Water clarity may diminish over the next day or two with the increased run-off, but all in all, conditions should be good to very good for some great fishing opportunities, unless you’re an ice fisherman.  Conditions should be good for some great brown trout and steelhead fishing, so don’t let this opportunity pass you by.

Ice fishermen just can’t seem to catch a weather break so far this year, but February is coming and who knows what that will bring.

The end of this week starts the Sports Show Season and I will be in Charleston, West Virginia for the West Virginia Trophy Hunter’s show.

Also this weekend will be the Greater Niagara Fishing & Outdoor Expo in Niagara Falls, New York.  Great exhibitors and a full slate of more than 100 seminars that you really don’t want to miss.  All are available to you under just one roof at this show.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast – Friday, January 13, 2017

Lake Ontario, Niagara River, Outdoor Show 

Lake Ontario and Trib’s 

Nice winter brown trout from 18-Mile Creek at Burt Dam caught by Greg Schloerb of Amherst, NY.
Nice winter brown trout from 18-Mile Creek at Burt Dam caught by Greg Schloerb of Amherst, NY.

The recent weather rollercoaster has been tough on fishermen.  Many areas received a pile of rain this past week, creating higher flows in the streams, like 18-Mile Creek below Burt Dam and into the Harbor at Olcott.  The water was pushing 170 cubic feet per second down the creek, which should attract some fresh fish into the system.  The water is stained, though, so use brightly-colored jigs fished under a float, salted minnows, live emerald shiners or nightcrawlers to try and trick a trout to hit.  Steelhead, brown trout and the occasional Coho salmon are still showing up. 

The harbor is wide open, thanks to the rain and temperatures in the upper 50’s this past week.  Both pike and perch should be available if you want to try and chase them.  Off the piers, casting spoons or spinners are options, but only if the wind is not blowing out of the north.  Today that wind is out of the northwest and the piers are under water.  The ice in Wilson Harbor is shot.  You also have an opportunity to do some pier fishing there if the winds cooperate.  Some of the smaller streams like Keg Creek or 4-Mile Creek could be open if the flow has increased enough, but we’ve not had any reports yet on those trib’s. 

This could be your lucky day!

Niagara River  

Ice is still coming down the river and the water is stained – two strikes against anglers from both boat and shore.  The ice was causing some problems for drifters and casters, ice coming down from Lake Erie after the high winds and rain really created quite a turmoil.  We’ll have to play it by ear when anglers can get back on the water again.  Steelhead and lake trout top the list of targets right now, but you have an outside chance at catching a brown trout or a walleye, as well.

Shore casters are using spoons and spinners in bright colors; boaters are drifting plugs like MagLips and Kwikfish lures; egg sacks or egg imitations; as well as minnows.  Use those baits from three-way rigs from boats, once the ice has disappeared.  If the winds cooperate, take a drift or two out on the Niagara Bar to see if there are any active trout around.

If you’ve never tried the Niagara River from a boat, give one of the lower river educational lessons a try through the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo set for Jan. 20-22 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls.  Morning trips are being offered by several charter captains for $100 each to give you an on-water lesson.  Sign up at the Expo website at www.niagarafishingexpo.com.  While you are on the site, check out the long list of speakers – a total of 70 giving some 130 seminars over the course of the three days.  One keynote speaker that just came on board last week was Bassmaster Elite Series Pro Mark Menendez, giving talks Saturday at noon and Sunday at 10 a.m.  There is a little bit of everything for the angler – from beginner to seasoned veteran.

There’s a big section on ice fishing, too. Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com to see what’s happening Jan. 20-22 at the Conference Center in Niagara Falls. Huge!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario Tributaries – Browns/Steelies

Today is Wednesday January 11, 2017.

The up and down temperatures continue, with us being in the warmer temperature part of the swing for now.

Rain of last night, and more rain and snow in the forecast should keep the water levels in all of the tributaries within Orleans County at moderate to slightly high levels. with water clarity at stained to slightly stained, through the rest of this week and into next week.

Most of our tributaries are at least partly open and should remain so with the warmer weather.

The bad news is that there is a lack of safe ice for ice fishermen to be on lakes and ponds, and that shouldn’t change for the better anytime in the near future.

The partial icing conditions also means that small boats cannot access the lower portion of the “Oak” at present.

The good news is that with the thawing conditions right now, both brown trout and steelhead are on the move throughout the system, with fresh fish entering the system.

Both natural and artificial baits are working well including wooly buggers and nymphs in a variety of colors, wax worms, salted minnows and spikes.

With the ever changing weather conditions please be mindful of your surrounding conditions as they may quickly change.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Florida Fishing – New Fishbrain App

  • Anglers Can Help Monitor Fish Species Health
  • 250,000 Anglers are Invited
  • 15 Different Non-Native Fish To Be Logged
This is a Mayan chiclid, an invasive species that is caught by anglers in many south Florida waters.  FWC Photo
This is a Mayan chiclid, an invasive species that is caught by anglers in many south Florida waters. FWC Photo

By STOadmin

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) plans to crowdsource data on nonnative freshwater fish species in Florida by partnering with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Fishbrain – the world’s largest app and social network for anglers.

The FWC has provided a list of nonnative species of interest in the Sunshine State, which will equip Fishbrain’s users with the necessary information to log sightings of these species when they come across them.

Florida is the pilot state to use Fishbrain technology in order to help managers better understand the extent and impact of nonnative aquatic species.  Following the Florida campaign, Fishbrain and the Service hope to build on the pilot project in other areas of the country through partnerships with state conservation organizations. With a better understanding of the extent of these species in the environment, resource managers will be able to develop effective tools designed to monitor nonnative species and prevent them from further damaging the biodiversity of ecosystems across the nation.

The Fishbrain app allows users to log catches by recording the location, time, species and a picture of their catch. Starting Dec. 20, the FWC will invite the 250,000 Florida-based users of the Fishbrain app to log catches of 15 different types of nonnative fish in the Florida ecosystem. The FWC promotes the consumptive use of these exotic fish instead of releasing them back into the wild.

This is a bullseye snakehead, is another of many invasive species that Florida Fish and Wildlife are asking for angler help to track.  FWC Photo
This is a bullseye snakehead, is another of many invasive species that Florida Fish and Wildlife are asking for angler help to track. FWC Photo

The list consists of Rio Grande cichlid, Jack Dempsey, blackchin tilapia, bullseye snakehead, clown knifefish, jaguar guapote, Mayan cichlid, spotted tilapia, Nile tilapia, banded cichlid, common carp, pacu, flathead catfish, blue catfish and green sunfish. This list was compiled by FWC biologists. More information on each species can be found at Fishbrain.com and MyFWC.com/nonnatives.

“Anglers come face-to-face with the natural world on a daily basis, and so their hobby relies on maintaining a respectful, sustainable balance with nature. Many of our users are highly aware of the threat to biodiversity posed by invasive species, and so are eager to involve themselves in projects such as this,” said Johan Attby, CEO of Fishbrain. “As the success of our previous conservation initiatives has shown, our users are vigilant, industrious and passionate when it comes to helping protect the ecological balance. We look forward to the success of the project in Florida, before hopefully rolling it out in other states across the country.”

Florida, often dubbed “Fishing Capital of the World,’ is Fishbrain’s biggest market with over 250,000 users. Fishbrain has nearly 3 million users worldwide, with over half of them from the United States.

“We are excited to be working with Fishbrain to provide information to anglers about Florida’s nonnative fish species,” said Sarah Funck, FWC’s nonnative fish and wildlife program coordinator. “Information we receive from this large user group will help our efforts to document and manage these species throughout the state.”

The Fishbrain app is available for download at the Apple Store or Google Play.

For more information about nonnative fish and other nonnative species in Florida, visit MyFWC.com/Nonnative.

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Today is Wednesday January 4, 2017.

After a very mild start to 2017, winter begins again this week with temperatures in the 20’s for daytime highs.

The rain of the past day or so should keep water levels on the tributaries within Orleans County at very fishable levels for at least the rest of this week.

Ice should start forming rather quickly with the forecasted temperatures, so those tributary fishermen should be ever mindful of their surrounding conditions as they could quickly change.

On the “Oak,” fishing has been good to very good especially for steelhead and brown trout.  There have been a good number of hook ups being reported each day.

A few Atlantic salmon are still in the, mix but their numbers are quickly dwindling as the season progresses.

Some hot flies being mentioned are stone flies and wooly buggers in various colors.

The other smaller tributaries are running higher and with more stained water than the “Oak,” but are still offering fair to good fishing conditions.

On the Lower portion of the “Oak,” perch fishing has picked up again especially around the bridges area, but you still have to sort thru a lot of smaller ones to have a decent catch.

With the number of smaller perch being reported, the coming years should offer a great perch fishery for a few years.

On Lake Alice, the warmer weather has weakened what ice there is to a very unsafe state, but again, with daytime highs only in the 20’s, it shouldn’t take long for those conditions to change for the better.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Campfire Island: Fishing, Food, Comfort

  • Pack to Fish
  • Be Ready to Eat!
  • Bring a Passport, Camera, Fishing License
We found hungry walleye, beefy bronzebacks and northern pike that would chase down your lure and test your rod and your line at Campfire Island.
We found hungry walleye, beefy bronzebacks and northern pike that would chase down your lure and test your rod and your line at Campfire Island.

By Dale Black

I love fishing any chance I get, and to fish locations that I have never been to, I always look forward to that.  I received an invitation to fish Rainy Lake and stay at Campfire Island this past year.  Rainy Lake, cabins, fishing and food – how could I say no?

The date was getting close and the anticipation was building, what to pack (clothes and such)? What gear to take?  The gear was much easier, fishing for smallmouth, walleye and pike are something that I do right here on the Allegheny River.

The trip started off in a bad way, got 4 hours from the house when I realized I left my passport, thank goodness Heidi , my wonderful wife,  met me halfway back with my passport so I could get across the border.  I believe she was as excited for me leaving as I was to going.  I arrived at International Falls, Minnesota, and crossed into Canada.

I was a little early, and I was chomping at the bit.  How was the fishing?  What are the cabins going to be like?  How was the food?  And again, how was the fishing?  I was right there at the Lake and all I wanted to do was fish, but I would have to wait, not long though.  We met as a group at Sorting Gap Marina and loaded onto boats for our journey to Campfire Island.  The trip out was not very long, but was pretty cool, got to see some Pelicans – I didn’t even realize that they lived this far north.

I was amazed at how large the lake was, the water clarity and how islands were scattered all over the place.  Thank goodness for GPS.  When we got to Campfire Island we unloaded the boats and made our way to the cabins.  They were awesome!   Great place to catch some Z’s or relax inside or out of the cabin.  We had a great view from the porch to sit, relax and watch the lake.  We all got settled in and prepared for our first meal.

We gathered at the main lodge for dinner, the aroma teased us as we waited, talking about fishing and different products that we like to use.  The conversation always turned to, “I wonder what’s cooking that it smells so good?!”  The call to dinner was made and stampede to the table began.   The food was out of this world.

Around every bend, it seemed like it was time to take a picture so we wouldn’t forget how beautiful the landscapes that surround these plentiful fish.
Around every bend, it seemed like it was time to take a picture so we wouldn’t forget how beautiful the landscapes that surround these plentiful fish.

With our bellies full and still some light outside, we grabbed our gear to make a few casts.  Most of us tired out pretty quick as the adrenaline wore off and from the long day of travel.  It was time to turn in and start fresh in the morning.  I slept like a baby, not normal, and the alarm went off long before it should have.  It was time to get ready to fish, but first, breakfast.

I normally don’t do breakfast, but we met at the main lodge, you could smell the bacon and everything cooking.  No normal here, I was eating breakfast.  And again, it was awesome!

We broke into groups for fishing.  The weather was not ideal to start the day and as with many of the large lakes when the wind picks up, so do the size of the waves.  It was a little windy so we stayed pretty close to Campfire Island.  We had a great day of fishing even with the adverse conditions, but they were supposed to improve.

Time for dinner, I think I have mentioned how much I loved the food and again they didn’t disappoint.  After dinner we waddled up, yea we were waddling by now, and got our gear for a short bit of fishing from shore.

It was a blast, we got into a small school of walleye and an occasional pike chaser.  The day went by extremely fast.  The saying, “Time flies when you’re having fun,” definitely fit.  The next couple of days went by just as fast.  The fishing was unbelievable, got numerous smallmouth and walleye with a scattered pike.

We stuffed our faces with great food and had a good time telling fish stories.  If you are ever looking to do a trip, make sure to check out Campfire Island.  Wayne and Pat will take real good care of you and it will be a trip you won’t forget.

Here is their website link: http://www.campfireisland.com/.

The dock simply beckons to every fisherman that visits here, to grab your rod, cast a lure, and enjoy the wild nature of this place that offers visitors so much wonderful food and woodsy comfort.
The dock simply beckons to every fisherman that visits here, to grab your rod, cast a lure, and enjoy the wild nature of this place that offers visitors so much wonderful food and woodsy comfort.

 

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Fishing Report for Day Ending December 28, 2016.

With daytime temperatures above freezing for most of next week, conditions should remain good for stream fishing throughout all of the tributaries within Orleans County.

Unfortunately this means that the ice fishermen will have to wait a little longer before they can ply their trade.

The precipitation that we have received over the past few days should help to maintain decent tributary flows and thereby keep fish moving throughout the system.

The muddy water from the snow melt and rain have just reached the upper section of Lake Alice, so flows on the lower portion of the “Oak” are still clear to just slightly stained.

Fishing pressure on all of our waterways is very light due to the holidays, but that could change with more favorable conditions.

There are still steelhead and brown trout moving thru the system and even a rogue salmon every now and then.

With open water at the “Point,” it wouldn’t surprise me to find someone with a small boat doing a little last minute open water perch fishing in the next day or two.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Western New York Fishing Forecast – Friday, December 23, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River 

Bill Kiel of Ohio with a Lower Niagara River steelhead near Lewiston, New York
Bill Kiel of Ohio with a Lower Niagara River steelhead near Lewiston, New York

Lake Ontario and Trib’s 

The first day of winter is here and things are actually warming up a bit – into the 30’s all week; the 40’s after Christmas.  The big news this week was the formation of up to five inches of ice in the back bay of Wilson Harbor.  However, caution is still advised.  Make sure you take every precaution and never fish alone.  There is no such thing as “safe ice.”  Pike, perch and trout were being reported.  Nothing hot and heavy, but hard water fanatics just want to be out there enjoying the season.  

As far as tributary action, brown trout and steelhead dominate the catches at Burt Dam and 18 Mile Creek in the Town of Newfane.  There is open water from the base of the stairs at Fisherman’s Park to the dam.  Jigs tipped with a wax worm or spike, eggs or egg imitations should produce some fish – fished under a float.  Water was low and slightly stained.  Melting snow and ice should help improve water color. 

Lower Niagara River  

High winds out of the southwest on Tuesday made for some turbid conditions on Wednesday, so it will be a few days before any boaters will score on trout again.  Fishing was good earlier in the week for steelhead and there were plenty of lake trout still around, no matter what you were using for bait.  Small egg sacks in pink and chartreuse were working off three-way rigs, as was Kwikfish and MagLips.

Lake trout season re-opens on Jan. 1 in New York’s lower river; Canada’s season is already open.  If you do fish in Canada and you catch one for the frying pan, don’t stop in NY waters when you head back, and make sure you follow all of the necessary procedures.  A new license year starts Jan. 1 in Canada, too.

There’s a new educational option tied in with the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo set for Jan. 20-22, 2017 at the Conference and Event Center, Niagara Falls.  A little mini on-water steelhead fishing session with area guides is now available.  Check out www.niagarafishingexpo.com.

Shore fishermen can do well when the water is a little murkier.  Cast brightly colored jigs, spoons or spinners to take trout. Artpark is the best spot to cast.

Upper Niagara River 

The water is stained and there’s not much going on right now.  When the waters start to clear, don’t be afraid to cast some hardware off Broderick Park for a trout – spoons, spinners and jigs.  Water temps are down to around 34-35 degrees. 

Here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
website | facebook | twitter | blog

Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Today is Wednesday December 21, 2016.

Welcome to the first day of winter!

The colder than normal temperatures over the last week or so have started forming ice on portions of Lake Alice, but don’t break out the ice fishing gear quiet yet.  Warming temperatures for the rest of this week and into next week will weaken what ice there is to the point of being totally unsafe to be on.

The warming trend should be a benefit to flows in our tributaries with the melting of our present snow pack, but I’m not sure just how long that will last.

On the Oak there is still open water from the dam thru the Archer’s Club area and beyond with fair to good fishing conditions.  Catches of both Brown trout and Steelhead are still being reported.

The other tributaries within Orleans County are reporting low water and icing conditions, but that may change with the warmer weather.

With Christmas being this Sunday fishing pressure should be extremely low.

Speaking of the holidays may you and yours enjoy a safe and peaceful holiday season.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Sage Grouse Chicks – How & Why of Tagging (Part 3 of 3)

  • Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) Program 
  • 50-80 Chicks Tagged Each Year
  • Chicks and Mother Hen Monitored for Health
  • 1,450 Ranches Enrolled, Conserved 5.5 million Acres

 

Each chick’s radio tag is smaller than a pinky nail, and secured quickly with two sutures. Photo by Kenton Rowe.
Each chick’s radio tag is smaller than a pinky nail, and secured quickly with two sutures. Photo by Kenton Rowe.

By Brianna Randall, Sage Grouse Initiative

Saving sage grouse saves more than 350 other species, including plants, insects and a host of wildlife.  The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) is a partnership of ranchers, agencies, universities, non-profit groups, and businesses that embrace a common vision: wildlife conservation through sustainable ranching.  One key in the success of the program starts with successful chicks and understanding where they are and how they are doing.

Tell us how a typical chick-tagging might go.

We usually have three people in a team. Because the hen does not want to leave her brood (which is roosting underneath her), we are usually able to get close enough to the hen to touch her. After using telemetry to find the hen, we surround her and gently flush her off the chicks. Then we immediately scoop up all of the chicks and put them in an insulated cooler with a hot water bladder in the bottom, creating a warm environment. Most first nest attempts average 8-10 chicks, and second nest attempts usually yield about 6. From there, we pick two chicks randomly and weigh them. Each of these chicks then gets a tiny transmitter attached with two quick sutures.

When we’re done, we set all of the chicks back onto the ground as close to the capture area as we can. Once we leave, the mom comes back and gathers the brood under her. We always check on the hen and chicks the following day to make sure all of the chicks are okay. In total, we usually tag between 50-80 chicks each year from about 25-40 nests.

A hen covers her brood of older chicks. Sage grouse nests are typically a simple, shallow depression near sagebrush shrubs. Photo by Mark Szczypinski.
A hen covers her brood of older chicks. Sage grouse nests are typically a simple, shallow depression near sagebrush shrubs. Photo by Mark Szczypinski.

How do you check on the chicks once they’re tagged?

After tagging, we spend the rest of the summer monitoring and tracking the brood. Basically, if all three transmitters are heard in the same area and on a similar compass bearing and the signal strength seems the same, we assume the two chicks and the hen are all okay. If one signal is weaker or not in the same area as the other two signals, we go check on the bird. Otherwise, we stay about 30m away from the broods.

We monitor broods every other day for the first 14 days — since this is the time of highest mortality — then twice per week thereafter until the chicks reach 75 days of age, which is just before the batteries start to die on the chick transmitters. By mid-August and into September, we start recapturing the surviving chicks to fit them with an adult necklace transmitter since they’re big enough to carry it by then. We only tag the hens, and they’re old enough by then for us to identify the sex.

How do you know if a chick or hen is dead?

If a hen is motionless for more than 4 hours, the transmitter’s pulse doubles to indicate potential mortality. We do monthly survival checks from October through March by jumping in a small airplane to get locations on all of our tagged birds. After any mortalities during the spring and summer, we’re typically left with 75-90 hens to locate on each of these flights.

If any are dead, I go find the transmitter to recover it, and see if I can figure out what happened to the bird. Some years for whatever reason, we’ve had four mortalities per month during the fall and winter survival checks, but other years it’s only about one mortality per month.

During the first half of the study, the annual apparent survival estimates for sage grouse hens ranged from 57-82% from 2011 through 2015. For chicks, the survival estimates range from 12-22%. We look forward to continuing the tagging effort to have more data in the coming years.

 Meet the Expert

Mark Szczypinski holds a kangaroo rat, another critter that depends on healthy sagebrush habitat.
Mark Szczypinski holds a kangaroo rat, another critter that depends on healthy sagebrush habitat.

What’s the best part of your job?

I love the diversity of the things that I do, from hiring and training technicians to repairing field gear to tagging birds and interacting with all of the landowners in the area. My job changes with the seasons, which means I never get bored!

What are your favorite off-the-clock activities?

All things outdoors are right up my alley. Hunting, fishing, backpacking — you name it. I’ve lived in the Intermountain West for quite a while and appreciate this landscape immensely.

Mark Szczypinski’s sage grouse tagging crew for the 2016 field season.
Mark Szczypinski’s sage grouse tagging crew for the 2016 field season.

The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) is a partnership of ranchers, agencies, universities, non-profit groups, and businesses that embrace a common vision: wildlife conservation through sustainable ranching.

Launched by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 2010, SGI applies the power of the Farm Bill to fund and certify voluntary conservation projects in sage grouse strongholds across 11 western states.  To date, the 1,450 ranches enrolled have conserved 5.5 million acres.

For more information on the Sage Grouse Initiative program or to become involved directly with the SGI program, visit: http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com.

Habitat Protected Near Mount St. Helens

  • Hunting is Conservation
  • 1,453 Acres of Habitat Protected
  •   Coordinated by Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation

By STOadmin

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and its conservation partners permanently protected and opened access to 1,453 acres of wildlife and riparian habitat in southwest Washington.

The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation worked with Merrill Lake Properties LLC and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) to connect protected lands and enhance recreational activities like hunting and fishing.

“There was a possibility that the previous owner could offer this Merrill Lake waterfront property to the highest bidder, but now this landscape is forever protected and open for everyone to access and use,” said Blake Henning, RMEF chief conservation officer.

“Our working partnership with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation enables us to meet the public’s demand for increased wildlife conservation, more open space and recreational opportunities,” said Clay Sprague, WDFW Lands Division manager. “We very much appreciate and value the key role that RMEF has played in opening up this incredible landscape near Merrill Lake for the public. Their funding of the remaining acreage is a very timely contribution and enhances this public acquisition.”

The Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office provided vital funding through its Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program for the project and RMEF stepped in to bridge a shortfall due to a purchase deadline. WDFW takes immediate ownership of 1,016 acres while RMEF holds 140 acres until funding is acquired for conveyance to WDFW. RMEF is currently spearheading that effort.

The transaction benefits Washington’s largest elk herd and is the latest in a series of projects near Mount St. Helens. RMEF collaborated with its partners to complete the first phase of the Merrill Lake project, encompassing 297 acres, in 2015.

“This property with its early seral and old growth forests has an extremely diverse set of conservation values that, in addition to elk, benefit black-tailed deer, mountain lions, black bears, osprey, eagles and other animal life as well as salmon and steelhead,” added Henning.

The land provides low elevation security for elk and is a vital fishery featuring some of the coldest fresh water inputs from the Kalama River that lead into the lower Columbia River system.

About the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation:  Founded over 30 years ago, fueled by hunters and a membership of nearly 220,000 strong, RMEF has conserved more than 6.9 million acres for elk and other wildlife. RMEF also works to open and improve public access, fund and advocate for science-based resource management, and ensure the future of America’s hunting heritage. Discover why “Hunting Is Conservation™” at www.rmef.org or 800-CALL ELK. Take action: join and/or donate.

Barracuda Fishery-New Size Limits in South Florida

  • Effective January 1, 2017
  • Slot Limit of 15 to 36 inches Fork Length
  • Allows One Fish Harvest over 36 inches per Boat
  •   No Closed Season
A slot limit will contribute to barracuda conservation by eliminating harvest pressure on the youngest, most vulnerable fish while also conserving larger fish, which are responsible for the vast majority of reproduction.  Jim Tunney Photo
A slot limit will contribute to barracuda conservation by eliminating harvest pressure on the youngest, most vulnerable fish while also conserving larger fish, which are responsible for the vast majority of reproduction. Jim Tunney Photo

By STOadmin

Starting Jan. 1, new recreational and commercial size limits for barracuda will be effective in Florida State waters and federal waters off Collier, Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and Martin counties only.

These changes were adopted at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s (FWC) November meeting in St. Petersburg and include:

  • A recreational and commercial slot limit of 15 to 36 inches fork length.
  • Allowing the harvest of one fish larger than 36 inches per person or vessel per day, whichever is less.

“Change starts with the people that care about the resource.  South Florida stakeholders saw an issue in their area, and it is through their actions and conservation ethics that these reasonable management changes were brought about.  For that, I am thankful,” said FWC Commissioner Robert Spottswood.

In recent years, stakeholders in southeast Florida and the Florida Keys who fish and dive have voiced concerns about seeing declines in barracuda numbers.

Barracuda data is limited due to their complex life history and behaviors; however, there has been a declining trend in the number of barracuda observed during underwater surveys conducted in the Keys in recent years, as well as a declining trend in the average size of those barracuda.

A slot limit will contribute to barracuda conservation by eliminating harvest pressure on the youngest, most vulnerable fish while also conserving larger fish, which are responsible for the vast majority of reproduction.

The FWC also addressed concerns for this species in 2015 when they set recreational and commercial bag limits for barracuda in south Florida of two fish per person and six fish per vessel.

Staff will continue to monitor barracuda through data collected during FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute underwater surveys and ongoing recreational and commercial catch data collection.  Recreational anglers can report their catches using data-reporting programs like the Snook and Gamefish Foundation’s iAngler app and Angler Action website.

For information on barracuda, visit MyFWC.com/Fishing and click on “Saltwater Fishing” “Recreational Regulations” and “Barracuda.”

Western New York Fishing Forecast – Friday, December 16, 2016

Lake Ontario, Niagara River 

Lake Ontario and Trib’s 

Dick Schul, fishing Captain Ernie Calendrelli in the Lower Niagara River, lands a nice steelhead during some great winter fishing.
Dick Schul, fishing Captain Ernie Calendrelli in the Lower Niagara River, lands a nice steelhead during some great winter fishing.

The only option in Niagara USA right now is 18-Mile Creek and Burt Dam in the Town of Newfane.  Both salmon and trout are available in the creek, with Coho salmon replacing King salmon in the fresh run department. 

Egg sacs or egg imitations are the preference for catching Coho’s.  Numbers have been fair.  Flow in the creek is less than last week, but the water clarity is a bit more stained. 

 Today is a lake effect advisory storm that should hit Western New York for the next couple of days. Expect up to a half-foot of snow.  Combined with this are frigid temperatures into the single digits and wind chills below zero. By Saturday, there is some possible rain in the forecast and temperatures in the upper 30s, so that might be your best bet for wetting a line next. 

If you want to target trout, your best option is with a small jig tipped with a wax worm or spike and fished under a float.  Don’t be surprised if you catch some decent yellow perch using that set-up – from the harbor to the dam. 

Lower Niagara River  

Action from last week continued into this week for trout fishing.  The big news is the influx of steelhead into the river system – some fish reaching the 10 pound mark.  There have also been a few brown trout caught.

Best drifting bait has been the MagLip in a 3.0 size, fished off three-way rigs. Many of the captains are now running these and really like the action that it provides. So do the fish apparently. Silver-green and silver-pink are good colors to start with, but it will probably be based on water clarity. Don’t be afraid to change things up.

Shore anglers are working the banks off Artpark for a mix of trout including steelhead, brown trout and lake trout.

for-sto-12162016-trending-now-ny-picture-2of2Remember that lake trout season opens officially on January 1, 2017. Best baits have been BC Wobbler spoons in chartreuse or orange; in-line spinners in chartreuse or yellow. Upper Niagara River 

Not too many people have been out fishing.  In the Capt. Bob’s contest that ends on Dec. 17, the largest Rudd has come from the upper river, taken on a crappie tube and fished under a float.  With the strong winds in the forecast the next couple of days, there’s a good chance it could muddy the river water up and slow things up for a bit.

If you are looking for a few ideas for some last minute Christmas gifts, consider a fishing charter from area captains (www.niagara-usa.com); a weekend pass to the Greater Niagara Fishing and Outdoor Expo Jan. 20-22, 2017 at the Conference and Event Center Niagara Falls (www.niagarafishingexpo.com); a derby pass for the Lake Ontario Counties events in 2017 (www.loc.org); or a membership in a local fishing club like the Niagara River Anglers Assn., the Lake Ontario Trout and Salmon Assn., or the Niagara Musky Assn.

Stay warm out there!

Bill Hilts, Jr., Director, Outdoor Promotions

Niagara Tourism & Convention Corporation, 10 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, NY USA 14303
p: 716.282.8992 x.303| 1.877 FALLS US, f:716.285.0809
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Sportfishing has a $30 million annual economic impact in Niagara USA!

Smith & Wesson Shield Pistol – Tritium Night Sight

  • Enhances Low Light Target Acquisition
  • Handgun Weighs just 19 Ounces

By STOadmin

for-sto-12162016-shooting-picture-2of2Smith & Wesson Corp. is now offering versions of its popular M&P Shield pistol in both 9mm and .40 S&W with front and rear tritium night sights.  Whether deployed as a backup sidearm for police personnel, a deep concealment pistol for plain-clothes officers or an every-day firearm for concealed carry permit holders, the new night sights on the M&P Shield enhance sight acquisition in all low-light situations.

At the core of the M&P Shield resides its slim, lightweight, high-strength polymer frame, measuring .95inches in width, coupled with an unloaded weight of less than 19 ounces.  The M&P Shield is standard with a 3.1 inch barrel that contributes to its compact overall length of 6.1 inches.  On the left side of the frame, the M&P Shield is fitted with familiar operational controls including a simple takedown lever, flat profile slide stop and magazine release.  For optimal firearm control, the M&P Shield is standard with an 18-degree grip angle and a fixed textured backstrap with additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip.  An extended trigger guard allows for operation of the pistol with or without gloves.

for-sto-12162016-shooting-picture-1of2The stainless-steel slide and barrel on this new M&P Shield is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius and front and rear tritium night sights.  For consistent and accurate shot placement, the pistol features a short, consistent trigger pull that has been further enhanced with a quick and audible reset made possible by the striker-fired action.  Internal features of the M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P pistol series.  Its stainless-steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease of-use and a comfortable feel.  A passive trigger safety prevents the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm.  A loaded chamber indicator is located on top of the barrel.  The M&P Shield is shipped with both an extended and flat magazine offering consumers the ability to customize the length of the grip.

Depending on the magazine used, the capacity of the 9mm M&P Shield is either 8+1 or 7+1, while the capacity of the .40 S&W M&P Shield is either 7+1 or 6+1.

For more information on Smith & Wesson’s M&P family of products, including the complete line of M&P Shield pistols, please visit www.smith-wesson.com.

 

Fishing Report: Orleans County, New York

Lake Ontario, Lake Alice, Erie Canal

Today is Wednesday December 14, 2016.

WINTER IS CLOSE!!

The first day of winter isn’t until December 21st, but by the end of this week, we will have wind chill factors well below zero.  Lake Erie snow on Thursday and then Lake Ontario snow on Friday are in the forecast.

All of the tributaries within Orleans County are fully open right now, but this could be short lived with the forecast.

Fishing for Brown trout and Steelhead has been good to very good as the last of the Erie Canal water is introduced into our waterways, especially the Steelhead.  A number of large Steelhead, over 10 pounds, have been taken.

Fishing pressure is light to very light and with the upcoming cold snap should get even lighter.

Rumor has it that there have been some good catches of yellow perch taken on the lower portions of the “Oak” recently between the point and the Parkway Bridges.

On Lake Alice things are quiet right now, but by the end of this week, ice should get a good start and it may not be long before some solid water fishing is available.

From Point Breeze on Lake Ontario, the World Fishing Network’s Ultimate Fishing Town USA and the rest of Orleans County.  We try to make everyday a great fishing day in Orleans County.

Email: sportfishing@orleansny.com

Sage Grouse Chicks – How & Why of Tagging (Part 2 of 3)

  • Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) Program 
  • Hen Nesting Can Recur
  • Telemetry Device is Harmless to Chicks
  • Time of Day is Critical for Tagging Success
These two-day-old chicks stay warm on a hot water bottle within a cooler. The antennas on the tagged chicks are visible in the back.  Mark Szczypinski Photo
These two-day-old chicks stay warm on a hot water bottle within a cooler. The antennas on the tagged chicks are visible in the back.  Mark Szczypinski Photo

By Brianna Randall, Sage Grouse Initiative

Saving sage grouse saves more than 350 other species, including plants, insects and a host of wildlife.  The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) is a partnership of ranchers, agencies, universities, non-profit groups, and businesses that embrace a common vision: wildlife conservation through sustainable ranching.  One key in the success of the program starts with successful chicks and understanding where they are and how they are doing.

So how do you know when a hen has hatched her brood?

We go out on the ground every other day during the April-May-June nesting season using handheld three-element Yagi antennas to listen for each hen’s VHF radio transmitter in order to get a her location — a process called telemetry. Once a hen’s location doesn’t change for two consecutive checks, we go in to confirm whether or not she is actually on a nest. If she is on a nest, we mark a point at least 100m away, which becomes the remote monitoring site for that nest.

Each nest is assigned an estimated hatch date which is 27 days from the first day we found the nest. Every two days after that first marking, we check to see if the hen is still on the nest by listening with telemetry equipment and evaluating if the compass bearing of the hen from the monitoring point has changed. This bearing won’t change more than a few degrees if the hen stays on the nest.

If the hen is absent from the nest around the estimated hatch date, we go in to see if one or more eggs hatched successfully. Hatched eggs will have an even break around the middle with a detached membrane inside and are usually still in the nest bowl. Often, one end of the shell will end up stacked inside the other end.

Sage grouse eggs usually crack around the center when the chicks hatch. John-Severson Photo
Sage grouse eggs usually crack around the center when the chicks hatch. John-Severson Photo

What if a nest fails?

Nest predation is common, especially since sage grouse are ground nesters. The nest bowl is simply a shallow depression usually underneath a sage bush — easy access for hungry foxes, coyotes, snakes or ravens. If a hen is not on her nest, we go in to determine why she isn’t there. If the nest was found by a predator we often find evidence of predation: eggshells strewn about or eggs with holes in them.

If a nest fails, that hen goes back into our “tracking and monitoring” phase. It’s common for hens to make a second nest if her first nest fails, and occasionally even a third nest if the first two nests fail. We also continue to track the barren hens throughout the season to monitor their use of the surrounding sagebrush in relation to the different grazing treatments being used.

When do you tag the new chicks?

We try to tag chicks two days after they hatch. But it always depends on the weather. Chicks can’t thermos-regulate for the first 7-10 days of their life, which is why they often roost under their mom, particularly at night. We do everything possible to keep the chicks plenty warm during the capture process. Though it’s usually late May or June when they hatch, it can still get cold here in Montana, especially since we do the tagging at night. We always tag as close to sunset as possible, and only if it’s over 50 degrees F and there’s no rain, wet soil, or wind. Sometimes, that means we don’t get to tag the chicks until they’re close to a week old.

Mark Szczypinski finds radio-collared sage grouse hens using telemetry. Kenton Rowe Photo
Mark Szczypinski finds radio-collared sage grouse hens using telemetry. Kenton Rowe Photo

The Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) is a partnership of ranchers, agencies, universities, non-profit groups, and businesses that embrace a common vision: wildlife conservation through sustainable ranching.

Launched by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 2010, SGI applies the power of the Farm Bill to fund and certify voluntary conservation projects in sage grouse strongholds across 11 western states.  To date, the 1,129 ranches enrolled have conserved 4.4 million acres.

Next week, Part 3 of the series.

For more information on the Sage Grouse Initiative program or to become involved directly with the SGI program, visit: http://www.sagegrouseinitiative.com.