Trout stocking takes place all around Western NY

Sportsman’s Journal

OBSERVER Photo by Gene Pauszek Jeff Rasmus (left) helped Justin Young (right) land a nice steelhead on Saturday afternoon caught on a home made jig/fly called “Purple Haze” on the City of Dunkirk Pier.

The temperature is trying to warm up outside and the trout bite is also getting better. Last weekend on the City of Dunkirk Pier, several anglers had numerous hook-ups with both steelhead trout and brown trout. The majority of the fish were 15 to 17 inches long, but there have been some notable exceptions. Two anglers brought to the net brown trout in the double digit category, with one pulling down the scales at 12 pounds 8 ounces and another brown well over 11 pounds.

I would like to mention that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation is going to either stop or cut back on the number of brown trout it will stock in Lake Erie, to focus on getting more “bang for the buck” with steelhead and rainbow trout, which show a great return for their stocking effort. Enjoy those trophy-sized brown trout, and take numerous photos and quick measurements.

Release them or give them a place of honor, as we may not see as many of them anymore. Speaking of stocking, the Randolph fish hatchery has been busy stocking trout around Western New York. Wyoming and Allegheny Counties saw stocking on Tuesday, while on Wednesday the crews headed out to Allegheny and Cattaraugus, focusing on Little Genesee Creek forks, Creek Great Valley Creek and Wrights Creek. The Genesee River was heavily stocked on Thursday and Friday. This coming week, will see Goose Creek in North Harmony, Ellicottville and Ashford being planted with trout. Just before the April 1 opening day, the Randolph crew will visit Cattaraugus, stopping at Bone Run, Guernsey Run in South Valley, Little Conewango Creek, The County Pond in Randolph, Bay State Brook at Red House, The Quaker Run at Cold Spring, Red House Brook and Science Lake. Usually the Cassadaga outlet doesn’t get stocked until the second week of April. The hatchery will be doing additional stocking through out the spring.

Something to keep your eye on is the fishing off the city of Dunkirk Pier. Last year, on one warm spring day, there were an estimated 200 anglers out at one time — many of them had “fish on” in a short period of time. On Wednesday this week, the temperatures could approach 70 degrees, and there will likely be a lot of people out. Please use caution. That’s a lot of hooks, lures and sinkers flying around and if the youngsters are out for a look-see, they don’t always look where they are going.

Also check out the NYS Regulations book on Page 46. Creek limits for Lake Erie and its tributaries allows for three trout, a minimum of 12 inches in length. That three-fish limit includes any combination of brown trout, rainbow, steelhead, and coho and chinook salmon. Even if you give them away, they count against your three-fish daily limit. Have a great time, and if there are a lot of fishermen out, limit yourself to one rod. Help someone land their fish and they usually return the favor. Bring on the yellow perch and calico fishing.

Calendar: 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.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.

There is a pistol permit course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Wednesday, March 27 from 5:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m. There is an $80 fee for attending this course. To register, or for more information contact Gary at 366- 3397.

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 a.m. for $6. Raffles too! Open to the public.

On April 13-14, there will be a gun show at Ashtabula County Fairgrounds (Ashtabula County Expo Center Building), 127 North Elm Street, Jefferson, Ohio. Show hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Call Larry at 792-9972 for information or go to LRsportingEvents.com.

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 vince@villageofwestfield.org 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 alberto@albertorey.com.

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 sports@observertoday.com.