The weather has been lousy lately, but warm weather and offshore fishing should be right around the corner as well as the statewide opener for walleye and the early special Lake Erie Trophy bass season that attracts a lot of tourists from outside the area.
Here is what you can expect if you are a boater: I took a ride around the Hanover boat launch last week and watched as an excavator dug out the Town of Hanover small boat launch. Jerry Hartloff commented that the excavator could only proceed to the end of the concrete ramp before being in danger of falling off. They were getting ready to put in the dock structure and dredging past the launch area. However, downstream is another issue. No docks were in at the DEC boat launch closer to the mouth of Cattaraugus Creek as of April 8.
At the March 20 meeting of the Greater Dunkirk Area Harbor Commission, members discussed applying for a grant from bed tax revenue to have future funds for weed-cutting. Commission member Allan Zurawski made a recommendation that a letter be sent to the Chautauqua County Lake Management Commission for acquiring possible funds. The commission discussed the possibility of leasing out the city's boat launch to an independent person, the city will have to look at legal issues first. Councilman Bill Rivera expressed interest in trying the venture for at least a year to see how it goes. Rivera commented that he would like to see longer hours of operation at the boat launch while Zen Olow added whoever would consider undertaking the venture should also be an ambassador for the city. They would welcome people and hand out literature on points of interest as well as hotel accommodations. Parking for boat launchers was also discussed. We also brought up the current condition of the docks at the Dunkirk boat launch, which are currently about two feet above water level. I could see no flotation devices under the docks which , in my opinion, need to be lowered. There are no ladders to safely gain access to and from your boats onto the docks. Launching out of the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will be highly unlikely and Barts Cove also looks like it is facing a shortage of water depth . There is a lot of partially submerged logs around all the area boat launches so anyone attempting to launch should use caution.
In an April 4 email from Tom Marks, there was a statement that Senator Mark Grisanti was able to get $100,000 from the state for Sturgeon Point Marina dredging. That's great! I hope Dunkirk and Barcelona can also get some financial assistance for their boat launches, because they also really need it.
The water level was high at the Cassadaga DEC boat launch last week , but the boat launch ramps were not in yet.I will keep you posted.
The Lakeshore Longbeards, our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, will host their next meeting on Tuesday, April 23 at Liberty Vineyards on Route 20 in Sheridan. The meeting will start at 7 p.m. Note that if you are a paid member of the NWTF you can purchase a bag of Round-Up ready-seed corn for $15 each. This corn would normally cost $200 per bag. If any additional corn is still available, you might still be able to join the NWTF and purchase it at this low price.
Legal gun owners know well that they are facing some of the toughest gun legislation in our country's history (and quite possibly illegal legislation at that) . Put your money to good use by investing in an organization that will always fight for your rights to keep and bear arms, the Friends of the NRA. They will be holding their annual fundraiser banquet at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post located at 4 Meadow Lane in Frewsburg on Saturday, April 27. For tickets and information, call Tom Kelly at 736-4386.
The Jamestown Rifle Club will hold a pistol class April 28. You must be 21 years old and a resident of Chautauqua County. The class begins at 1 p.m. and lasts around four hours. Call Pat Hayes at 484-9301 for information.
There will be a hunter safety training course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club this Thursday and Friday. This is a mandatory two-day course that will run from 5-10 p.m. both evenings. The course is free.
There will be a pistol course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club this Saturday. There is a $55 fee charged for this course, which will run from 9:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. To register or for more information, call Gary at 366-3397.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club, located on Ogden Road, will conduct a hunter safety firearms class starting Monday from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. The course will resume on Saturday starting at 9 a.m., and running until 4 p.m. Students must be at least 12 years of age and attend both days. For more information, call 326-3218.
The Southtowns Walleye Association will host their monthly meeting at their facility located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg on Thursday starting at 7:30 p.m. Guest speaker will be Chris Kempf, who will be talking about maintenance and repair of all reels. 04-This meeting is open to the public.
Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department will wrap up their Sportsmen's Show at the Cattaraugus County Fairgrounds, Route 353, Little Valley, today. Call 938- 6928 for information.
Lander, Pa.: Sportsmen's Show will be April 20-21. Call 814-757-9466 for information.
The Westfield Fish & Game Club will host its annual Ham & Steak Shoot today at their clubhouse located on Ogden Road. The event will be held rain or shine. All legal centerfire firearms will be permitted. Ammo will be supplied for birdshot and deer slugs. The .22 Caliber shoot, which will be held indoors, is a bring-your-own-ammo event.
If you club is hosting a hunter safety training/archery/trapper/pistol course, turkey shoot or any event that pertains to the outdoors, call 366-1772 or 366-3000 ext. 5 after 5 p.m.
Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to email@example.com.