Recent warm spell offered fishing opportunities

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Open water at the Dunkirk pier brought out the fishermen on Saturday.

The recent warm spell was short lived but it did open up a lot of fishing opportunity for anglers. The City of Dunkirk Pier became active with anglers finding open water on the east side of the pier closer to the shore end. Wind strength and direction will play a role in where the open water will be so anglers will need to adapt. Fishing was better in the morning, and the bite slowed down as the day wore on.

A lot of the area streams and creeks opened up too, but use caution while gaining access to these areas. It’s clumsy enough to be walking in chest high waders, loaded down with gear, but an ice covered slippery slope or slick submerged slate bottom can make things perilous, especially if no ones around to help.

Just a few reminders. Walleye season closed on March 15 and will re-open on Saturday, May 4. The Department of Environmental Conservation reminds Ice Anglers that fishing shanties must be removed by March 15. Shanties that fall partially through the ice become difficult to remove and abandoned shanties become a water hazard when the ice disappears. The March 15 date is based on an average date when ice cover becomes questionable. It is not based on how thick the ice actually is in a given area. Failure to comply with this regulation could result in a $100 fine. Note that after March 15 ice shanties can be taken on and off the ice when in use, but cannot be left empty on the ice

Note also that NYS bans brush burning from March 16 through May 14. Even though the area may be blanketed with snow, warming temperatures can cause wildfire conditions to arise. Currently the chance of there being a wildfire risk condition is low. Violators of the open burning regulation are subject to both criminal and civil enforcement actions, with a minimum fine of $500 for a first offense. To report environmental enforcement violations call 1-800-TIPP DEC (1-800-847-7332). For more information go to the DEC’s “Learn before you burn” web page.

Calendar: The Landers Pennsylvania Volunteer Fire Department located at 4400 Miller Road Hill Road, Russell Pa. will be hosting their 26th annual Gun Show today from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Admission is $5 and will include a chance to win a $150 gift Card. Landers is 14 miles from Jamestown. For more information call Steve Beck at (814) 757-9466.

The Department of Environmental Conservation in co-operation with NYS Assemblyman Sean Ryan and The Southtowns Walleye Association, will be presenting the New York Sea Grants State of Lake Erie Meeting on Thursday, April 11 from 7 p.m. until 9 a.m. Topics covered will include the status of Cold water Communities by DEC Biologist Jim Markham, Warm Water fish communities by NYSDEC Unit leader Jason Robinson, An Update on Barotrauma in Lake Erie Perch by Jesse Lepak of Sea Grant, and Inspiring Environmental Leadership and Stewardship by Sandy Smith from Nichols School Faculty. The presentation is free and open to the public and will be at the Southtowns Walleye club located at 5895 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg.

On March 21, at 7:30 p.m. the Southtowns walleye Club will have their monthly meeting and will have guest speaker Ed Heary speaking about Allstate Boat Insurance. The meeting is free and open to the public. The club has a kitchen and food and beverage are available.

The WNY Chapter of the Safari Club Intentional will have their monthly meeting on April 3, at Michael’s Banquet facility located on Southwestern Blvd., Hamburg. The guest speaker will be NYSDEC Biologist Emilio Rende, giving a report on the recent DEC Turkey study. This meeting is free and open to the public.

There will be a Pistol Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. Note there is an $80 fee for taking this course. For further information, contact Gary Dudek at 366- 3397.

The Lake Erie Outdoor & Fishing Show will return on Saturday, April 6 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. at the Clarion Hotel in Dunkirk. For information contact the OBSERVER at 366-3000 extension 420. This event started up last year and turned out to be a big success and this year could be even better!

The Ellery Rod & Gun Club located on Pancake Hill Road, Bemus Point will host their Spring Shoot on Sunday, April 7 starting at 9 a.m., which will include Lucky Shot and Slug. Bring your own size 7 1/2 or size 8 shot shells. Breakfast will be served from 8 a.m. until 11 for $6. Raffles too! Open to the public.

The Sportsmen’s Show sponsored by the Little Valley Volunteer Fire Department will be on April 6 and 7 at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds located off Route 353, Little Valley, NY. Show times are 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. Sunday. $5 admission. Call Jim Miller at (716) 938-6928 for information.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host a hunter Safety Training course on Saturday, April 13 from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. To register for this one day course you must register online at NYS DEC Hunter Bowhunter-Trapper Ed Course Sign Up Link. For questions go to or call 753-6347.

The NYS Youth Wild Turkey Hunting weekend is April 20-21.

Free Monday night fly tying instruction has resumed at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club, located at Mullet Street in Dunkirk. Classes are for all levels of fly tying, but especially for beginners. No equipment is necessary. All participants get to keep their productions. Classes are from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. The classes are open to the public. Sometimes they even have homemade cookies! Note that The Children of the Stream Youth Fly Fishing Program have changed the dates to their program to Mondays from 7 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the Costello Community Room (P84) in the new addition to the Rockefeller Arts Center at SUNY Fredonia. This program is in its 18th year of providing weekly free fly tying and fly fishing classes to both youths and adults in our area. You do not need any prior experience to attend these classes, and the course is geared towards ages 10 and older. For more information contact Alberto Rey at 410-7003 or

If your club or organization is holding a hunter safety training/trapping course or a turkey shoot or any other outdoors event, and would like to see it posted in the calendar, send information to the OBSERVER, 10 East Second Street, Dunkirk, NY 14048, or call the sports department 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, ext. 5, after 6 p.m. or email