Current ice fishing conditions are not safe

Submitted Photo Recently, Mike Dougherty of Shults Resale donated $500 for the sponsorship of the Vintage Pedal Car, to be auctioned off at Ducks Unlimited’s March 11, banquet and live auction. Ducks Unlimited is North America’s leader of Waterfowl Habitat and Wetland Conservation. This year marks DU’s 80th anniversary. The Northern Chautauqua Chapter event will take place at the Fredonia Beaver Club, with Catering by Devon Jones of Fred’s Restaurant. Pictured are, from left, Dougherty, Shults Resale; Stacey Kucharski, DU committee; Ronald Romance, DU committee; and Mason Paul Nichols, pedal car driver. Missing from the photo were Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Chapter Committee members Will Mead and Chris McKelvey. For more information, go to and view local events or call Ron at 969-5166.

The fluctuating temperatures continue to make ice fishing conditions unstable on local inland lakes.

My weekly survey Wednesday indicated current ice conditions on Chautauqua Lake are not safe. There were reports of a few anglers heading out on Chautauqua Lake over the weekend. Anglers were picking up a few calicos and walleye in about 10 feet of water off Long Point.

A few lonely souls did tip-toe out towards Prendergast and Mission Meadows, but by Wednesday, the shore ice was rotten and open water could be seen near the middle of the lake. The long-range weather forecast indicates there could be four or more days of warm weather on the horizon, so anglers may want to consider getting their boats ready, if the water does open up. If you do decide to take your boat, remember to have a current boat and trailer registration, inspection and wear a Life jacket (PFD). This weekend is also a FREE fishing day weekend, so enjoy.

Local streams are not getting a lot of attention, and with the warming weather, there could be a nice run of spawning trout. Hard bottom creeks will likely turn on first, like Silver Creek, Walnut, Canadaway, Chautauqua creeks, and streams closer towards Buffalo. Cattaraugus Creek continues to be either blown out, raging water or ultra murky. Sporadic reports of angling success have come in, but for the most part, there has been little angling pressure on our streams. The City of Dunkirk Pier also continues to be a slow go because of the recent westerly winds pushing a lot of the harbor ice against the pier. All the indications point towards an early spring, so this transitional period could be a great opportunity to get your tackle ready, for when the fishing season does explode. Lake Ontario fishing looks like it will also be another banner year, so get ready.


The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host it’s annual one-day rabbit hunting contest on Saturday, Feb. 18. Signup/entry is $5 per contestant. Non-members are allowed to participate, provided they are accompanied by a Con Club member. weigh-in is from 2-3 p.m. sharp. Prizes and food will be available. Stop at the Con Club for details.

On Sunday, Feb. 19, the Con Club will also hold its annual chicken barbecue. Tickets are on sale at the Con Club. Proceeds from this event go toward the Con Club’s annual Take-A-Kid-Fishing event, which takes place on the first Saturday of June.

There will be a pistol permit course at the Con Club also on Sunday, Feb. 19, from 5:30-10:30 p.m. There is a $75 fee to take this course. Contact Gary Dudek at 366-3397 for information.

The friends of the NRA will host their annual banquet/fundraiser on Saturday, Feb. 25 at the American Legion Samuel Derby Post 556 located at 9 Meadow Lane, Frewsburg, N.Y. 14738. Reservation should be made by Friday, Feb. 17. For information, contact Jennifer Schmitt at or call 487-2487.

His Way Archers, located at 34 Ohio St., Jamestown, started its youth archery program on Saturday, Jan. 14. The program runs the second and fourth Saturday mornings of the month. They will have archery instruction for youths ages 6 to 18, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at noon. Equipment will be provided for those that need it. The cost is $5 per child. The range will be open to the public on these days starting at 12:30 p.m. For more information, call 484-7046 or 485-3598.

The Northern Chautauqua Ducks Unlimited Chapter of Ducks Unlimited announced its annual banquet/live auction will take place on March 11 at the Fredonia Beaver Club, located at 64 Prospect St., Fredonia. The group moved its program to the Beaver Club location last year, and had a filled-to-capacity turnout. This year, the event will be limited to 120 seats ONLY! You can make reservations by calling 969-5166 or email You can also call 785-4165 (Ron), 785-3741 (Will), or 679-8454 (Stacy). For more information on DU, or to buy tickets online, visit

There will be gun shows coming up at the following areas:

Harborcreek, Pennsylvania, at the Harbor Creek Fire Dept. Social Hall, located at 7275 Buffalo Road, US Route 20 (located between North East Pa., and Harborcreek). Dates are March 18 and 19 from 9 a.m. until 4p.m. and 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., respectively.

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or other outdoors event and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second St., Dunkirk, N.Y. 14048 or call the Sports Dept. at 366-3000 ext. 5 after 6 p.m.

Note: If you have a big-game fishing or trapping success story you would like to share, call 366-1772, or 467-2079 and leave a name, phone number and a time you can be reached. You can also call 366-3000 after 5 p.m. at ext. 5.

Gene Pauszek is an OBSERVER outdoors columnist. Send comments to