WNED-TV KIDS FEST – What an Awesome Event

  • 1400 New Kids – FIND the OUTDOORS for the First Time
  • Parents of Kids – DISCOVER FISH and FUN of New York OUTDOORS
  • Kudo’s to TV Station Crew and Outdoor Sportsman Volunteers

By Joe McAdams – ECFSC Kids Fest Co-Chairman

This was the Erie County Federation’s 1st participation of the WNED-TV Kids Fest.  I’ve attended this event with my grandson last year, so I had an idea of how the event worked and what to expect as an attendee. 

The press release was sent out and we prepared to add another community event to our calendar.  Unfortunately, we had no idea what to expect as a vendor.

Our platform consisted of standard Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs (ECFSC) banners and signage, Teach-Me-To-Fish posters supplied by Dave Barus, printed handouts for the Federation and an awesome supply of NYS fishing maps, fishing regulations and beginning fishing guides.

The crew consisted of President Jeff Jondle (event co-chair), Joe McAdams (event co-chair), Tom Fischer, George Rockey, Gary Melnyk, Hope Melnyk, and DEC biologist representative, Mike Todd.

Thanks to the assistance of the WNED studio crew members – we had our banner high on the wall.  We went right to work setting up shop.  This seasoned crew had everything ready to go in record time.

Our location in the TV studio – adjacent to the “Curious George and Friends” photo op and the “See Yourself on TV” green screen camera – gave us opportunity to present the Federation and all our programs to the interested parents.

                                                           Experienced crew assembles booth display.

Not knowing how many kids to expect and not having a large supply of prizes, we wanted to use a prize wheel to award drawing prizes. We brought 20 fishing poles, 100 mini-tackle boxes and over 200 Cabela’s braided wrist bands in hunter orange.

The stage is set, ready for kids and parents at WNED-TV Studios, Buffalo, NY.

We couldn’t get a prize wheel, so we used a Plinko board with a 1-in-4 chance to win a top prize (fishing pole).  Everyone else received a wrist band or mini tackle box.  We expected our cache of over 300 prizes to easily last the day.

To say that we were WAY OFF is an understatement!  Saturday’s pre-registered attendance was a little over 500, but an additional 400 kids purchased tickets at the door bringing the attendance to over 900 kids.  This was amazing!

There was genuine interest in the Teach-Me-To-Fish program with many parents eager to attend this year’s events.  I could not believe how many parents had never heard of ECFSC and Teach-Me-To-Fish.  We had more face time with parents than any other Federation event!

                           Kid-size mini-Plinko.

DEC representative Mike Todd brought the popular fish identification display and a new event – the “fish pool”.

The fish pool consisted of numerous laminated color prints of various regional fish with a Velcro nose.  Fishing poles equipped with a Velcro lined plug were used to make the catch.  The water consisted of a blue tarp and nautical rope rigging to prevent those fishing from “falling in”.

The idea was to have the kids hook their fish, then take it to the identification chart behind the pool.  This reinforced the fun of fishing with educational interaction.  The fish pool was a huge success.  Parents were taking pictures of their kids landing everything from Perch to Lake Trout!  At times, the line to fish in the DEC Fish Pool stretched across the room.

After the first day, we exhausted our supply of prizes.  We eliminated the mini-Plinko game and expanded the fish pond to account for the extra space.  Sunday’s attendees would have been disappointed if it wasn’t for George Rockey.  George came to the rescue with 200 stuffed emoji’s and 30 Frisbees to give away.

                                   DEC Fish Pool                                                                                Ryan McAdams lands a big bass. 

Sunday’s event was smaller and shorter in time with a schedule of 12-4.  There were 300 pre-registered and another 180 walk-ins that brought the total kids to almost 500.  The crowd was enthusiastic and parents snapped up anything that had information about Federation programs.

Hope and Gary Melnyk kept an eye on the prizes and managed to stretch them out until 2PM.  Even without prizes, the kids still loved the fishing pond.

EVENT SUMMARY:

During this one event, we were able to reach more kids and engage more parents than the last 3 years of the “Teach-Me-To-Fish” program.  More importantly, was that the majority of kids that attended this event were under the age of 6.

Our literature, fishing guides and maps weren’t taken by browsers strolling by, but were methodically acquired by young parents that were engaged by our Federation volunteers.

As a Director, former President, and longtime member of the Federation, I couldn’t be more proud of our all-volunteer team.  They took this opportunity to educate and enlighten.  To engage and provoke interest.

A special note of thanks for Mike Todd.  This passionate New York State DEC biologist and educator does not get paid to support our events.  He re-arranges his work schedule to cover the Federation sponsored events.

His fish pond was the hit of the show and had all of WNED-TV talking about what a great activity it was.

I can’t wait until next year…

Click on logo to learn more about EDUCATIONAL Outdoor Programs in Erie County, New York.

About the Erie County Federation of Sportsmen (ECFS): The Erie County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Inc. is an all-volunteer, charitable, non-profit organization that is dedicated to the promotion of fish and wildlife conservation, education of outdoor participants and related outdoor recreation. This promotion is accomplished in several ways. We conduct or sponsor a variety of educational opportunities for young and old. Including, but not limited to: • Sponsoring youths to conservation education camps.• Scholarships for conservation related education.• Instructor Workshops • Sponsoring Outdoors Woman program candidates.  We also sponsor many community service programs that include: • Hunters Helping the Hungry • Family Fishing Clinics • National Hunting & Fishing Day hands-on event for youth.  ECFS programs Grow with the Community: We are actively involved with the community – acting as liaisons to state and local government agencies that affect New York State conservation laws and activities; attempting to improve the hunting and angling conditions for the sportsman – promoting the multiple use of our lands, forests and waters for recreational purposes for all the people.  We sponsor legislation, participate in fish stocking in Lake Erie and tributaries, inland lakes and streams of Erie County. We assist the Conservation Department in pheasant stocking – and we are involved in the 4H pheasant stocking program.  Visit us and keep track of our outdoor educational event programming throughout the entire year: www.eriectyfsc.org/

 

 

FLW ANNOUNCES 2018 COSTA FLW SERIES SCHEDULE

  • Lake Erie – Buffalo, NY – Trophy Smallmouth Bass Fishery, is NEW ADDITION to FLW Northern Series
  • Lake Guntersville will host 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship November

MINNEAPOLIS (Aug. 22, 2017) – Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing

2018 Costa FLW Series Schedule is Official 

organization, announced today the 2018 Costa FLW Series schedule, which will consist of three events in each of the five divisions – Central, Northern, Southeastern, Southwestern and Western – along with the no-entry-fee Costa FLW Series Championship to be held on Lake Guntersville in Guntersville, Alabama.

The top 40 pros and co-anglers in the final point standings in each division after three qualifying tournaments will advance to the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship, provided they fished all three qualifiers in a division.

The highest finishing pro from each of the five Costa FLW Series divisions based on final results at the 2018 Costa FLW Series Championship qualify for the Forrest Wood Cup, along with the highest finishing pro from the championship’s international division. A total of six Costa FLW Series pros will advance to the 2019 Forrest Wood Cup, the world championship of professional bass fishing.

Complete rules and entry dates will be announced soon.

2018 Costa FLW Series Season Schedule:

Central Division            Fishery                       City                                         Local Host

  • April 19-21         Table Rock Lake           Branson, Mo.                 ExploreBranson.com
  • June 7-9            Lake Barkley                 Cadiz, Ky.                      Cadiz-Trigg County Tourism      
  • Oct. 11-13         Lake of the Ozarks        Osage Beach, Mo.         Tri-County Lodging Association      

Northern Division

  • June 21-23       Lake Champlain             Plattsburgh, N.Y.           City of Plattsburgh
  • July 26-28         Lake Erie                       Buffalo, N.Y.                  Buffalo Niagara Sports Commission
  • Sept. 6-8           1000 Islands                  Clayton, N.Y.                 Clayton Chamber of Commerce    

Southeastern Division

  • Jan. 4-6            Lake Okeechobee          Okeechobee, Fla.         Okeechobee County Tourism
  • March 1-3         Lake Seminole               Bainbridge, Ga.             Bainbridge CVB
  • April 5-7            Santee Cooper              Summerton, S.C.           Clarendon County CC

Southwestern Division

  • Feb. 15-17        Sam Rayburn Reservoir Jasper, Texas               Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn CC
  • March 22-24     Grand Lake                    Grove, Okla.                   City of Grove       
  • Oct. 4-6            Fort Gibson Lake            Wagoner, Okla.              Wagoner Area CC        

Western Division

  • Feb. 8-10           Lake Havasu                 Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Lake Havasu City CVB               
  • May 10-12         Clear Lake                     Lakeport, Calif.              Konocti Vista Casino Resort/Marina
  • Sept. 27-29       California Delta              Bethel Island, Calif.        Russo’s Marina   

Costa FLW Series Championship

  • Nov. 1-3            Lake Guntersville           Guntersville, Ala.           Marshall County CVB

The full schedule and details for each fishery can be found at FLWFishing.com.

For complete details and updated information visit FLWFishing.com. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow the Costa FLW Series on Facebook at Facebook.com/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter.com/FLWFishing.

About FLW – FLW is the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization, providing anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money in 2017 across five tournament circuits. Headquartered in Benton, Kentucky, with offices in Minneapolis, FLW conducts more than 258 bass-fishing tournaments annually across the United States and sanctions tournaments in Canada, China, Mexico, South Africa and South Korea. FLW tournament fishing can be seen on the Emmy-nominated “FLW” television show, broadcast to more than 564 million households worldwide, while FLW Bass Fishing magazine delivers cutting-edge tips from top pros. For more information visit FLWFishing.com and follow FLW at FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube and Snapchat.

“Sunny Day Kids” are HOOKED ON FISHING FUN!

  • Fishing & Learning Adventure on the Buffalo River
  • May 28, 2017; Bison City Rod & Gun Club, Buffalo, N.Y.
  • 141 Kids, 322 Total Attendance; 21 Volunteers; 8-Learning Stations
There is something very special about that first fish!  Kids and parents found adventure and fun while learning about rods, reels, bobbers and fish-catching at Bison City Rod & Gun Club in Buffalo, NY. 

By Forrest Fisher

The forecast for rain and fog was swept aside when bright, sunny skies with a gentle 75 degree breeze surprised families with kids from Buffalo and Western New York.  They came to fish and learn at Bison City Rod & Gun Club for the 13th Annual Jimmy Griffin Memorial Teach-Me-To-Fish event.

Each youth carried a personal registration card with their first name, last initial and age. When the kids achieved learning at each station, the station captain would hole punch the card, when all the stations were completed, the youth was eligible to drop the card into the raffle hopper for one of 76 free rod/reel rigs.

Once a polluted waterway that would burn from the heat of a lighted match, today the Buffalo River waterfront is clean, alive, and hopping with fish, kayaks, canoes and kids with fishing poles.  The Buffalo-Niagara Riverkeeper Group is a big part of the clean-up progress.

The kids and their families all learned a bit more about the adventure of the outdoors through the fun of fishing, many for the very first time!

While the river was running a bit muddy from recent heavy rains, the steady flow of riverfront kayakers, sailboats, canoes and power boats showed proof that water color is not a deterrent.  Kids fishing from the Bison City fishing pier were busy.  Even single adults without kids came to discover the fun and adventure of “how-to-fish”.  More and more people want to know.

Lynda Kollar, Rose Barus and Linda Cooley energized a positive first-moment connection with folks at the registration welcome station.

Inner city kids and parent, guardians and many others discovered the fun of fishing with the Buffalo city skyline in full view. 

Kids and parents learned “How-To-Fish” and what to do from Western New York bass pro, Scott Gauld, who took time to share “easy tips” for everyone in the program.  He explained that catching a fish with a rod and reel (bait or artificial lure) is not only possible, it is fun and not difficult.  Gauld provided that special seal of “sure-fun is right around the corner” that only a professional angler might be able to influence for new onlookers.  Kids went away looking for the fishing pier!

Marine Unit 2 with Erie County Sheriff Tim Dusza and his team, provided tours of their vessel.  Everyone learned about water-safety, kids were allowed to blow the horn and turn on the flashing lights. Big smiles there!

Russ Johnson and Bob Carlson, members of the East Aurora Fish & Game Club, who have perfected the system for educating kids and parents on how to tie a perfect Palomar Knot and Clinch Knot, taught everyone how to tie on a hook in only a few seconds.  

Rigging a weedless plastic bait, a plastic worm or jig tail, was made easy with a hands-on demonstration by junior Bassmasters Alex Gauld and Collin Voss, as they provided each youth with a souvenir plastic creature bait sample from Cabela’s.  The kids could use the bait to fish with or take home.  The girls seemed to pick the pink squiggly-tail crayfish!

Environmental Conservation Officer, Jeff Jondel, and firearm safety instructor, Joe Mills, provided hands-on firearm safety training.  They shared the rules of responsibility for parents and kids, so they could experience the Cabela’s BB-Gun Range, an inflated and fully enclosed, fully safe, “bounce house” style event.  The NRA safety-instructors provided easy 1, 2, 3 steps for responsible use of a firearm, using a BB-gun.  Kids and parents took turns checking their aim using Daisy Red Ryder BB-Guns, shooting at suspended souvenir paper targets.  Happy kids took their targets home with ear-to-ear smiles as souvenirs.

Lifetime youth educator and certified New York State Archery champion, Paul Stoos, worked with Earl Farrel, Sr., to provide first-time how-to lessons for kids at the Cabela’s Archery Booth, using air-suspended floating ball targets.  

Charter Captain Jerry May and walleye master, Ted Malota, taught kids how to cast a spincast fishing rod with hookless casting baits.  The kids were sailing their lines a very long way toward hula-hoop targets in just minutes.  Ted shared, “Wow, some of these kids are really good with so little practice!”  Fun for all!

The kids and adults fished from “George’s Landing,” the legacy honor name for the Bison City fishing pier.  It was a fun and exciting adventure station for kids, even more exciting for some parents who had never touched a live fish before. On-site fishing educator, Dave Solowski, provided eager kids with bait, pre-rigged rods, reels, bobbers, hooks, split-shot and plenty of nightcrawler bait supplied by Weekley’s Worms.  Weekly’s Worms provides more than 50 million redworms and nightcrawlers to anglers every year.  Imagine that!

Dockside outfitter, Donna Kayes, provided solid “pre-fish confidence” while outfitting each youth with a life-preserver before entering the fishing pier area.  Several first-fish catches were recorded, with new adventure and fun had by all. The fish were placed in the aerated “Lunker Pool” and released by the kids after the event.  Kids that did not catch a fish enjoyed seeing the swimming fish that others caught. After the event, the kids helped release all the fish to swim another day, a meaningful lesson in conservation for our youth.

Lyme disease is a serious killer of healthy fun and life. “It starts with deer ticks,” says instructor, Sheri Voss, as she uses dolls and explains details  to stay safe in a manner that little kids and their parents can understand. 

At the newest learning station, “OUTDOOR AWARENESS,” outdoor educator, Sheri Voss, provided hands-on lessons for families with advice on how to stay prepared, protected, informed and proactive, whenever they head outdoors.  There was special focus on deer ticks and the Lyme disease outbreak in northeast USA.

As families completed the learning station tours, a 70-page slide show was shown on the 7-foot screen indoors, allowing for continued fishing and outdoor adventure education.  While observing the screen, the kitchen crew provided world famous Sahlen’s grill-cooked hot dogs, Perry’s Ice Cream, Paula’s Donuts, Gwen Jozwiak’s hand-made “fish cupcakes,” beverages and other munchies.

During the random gear raffle, 76 happy youths won a free rod/reel combo.  Everyone else, adults too, took home fishing maps, tackle, and special prizes from the “Bison City Tackle Treasure Chest.”

The kids and the adults were all BIG WINNERS!

This special youth outreach event is annual event sponsored and coordinated by the Bison City Rod & Gun Club with special thanks to Ted and Doraine Malota, Cabela’s, Erie County Federation of Sportsmen, WNY Safari Club, Sahlen’s Meat Packing, the Norby Antonik Foundation, Weekley’s Bait, Paula’s Donuts and 21 dedicated volunteers who donated their time to help youth and their families learn more about the outdoors through the fun of fishing!