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Wind turbines could have negative impact on fishing patterns

Sportsman’s Journal

Bob Maze, Dave Pomietlasz, Jim Jaffray, Russ Tenemore and Doug Jaffray cooked the fish for the VIP Day.

The Eastern Lake Erie Charter Boat Association in co-operation with the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club and Chautauqua County Vacationlands/Andrew Nixon, put on another impressive VIP Day on Wednesday.

Once again, this event was well received with over 100 people in attendance including local politicians Andy Goodell, Congressman Tom Reed’s office, County Executive George Borello, members of the Department of Environmental Conservation and various members of the Erie County and Chautauqua County Sportsmen Federation.

The program featured a half day of fishing on Lake Erie provided by the Charter Association, a fantastic meal of fried walleye complete with sides and dessert, and presentations that pertain to our area’s fishery.

OBSERVER Publisher John D’Agostino covered the eloquent, informative presentation from Rich Davenport on why we should, under no circumstances, consider putting wind turbines on Lake Erie. After the report, with the information put forth, Davenport made it clear that, “Wind Mills in Lake Erie would be Folly!”

DEC Fisheries Unit leader Jason Robinson also gave a great video presentation and report about the status of our Lake Erie Walleye population. The DEC along with other wildlife agencies can monitor the movement of migrating walleye with the help of tagged fish and transmitters. They have proof that western basin fish are still in our area as late as November. The report indicated that one tagged fish makes a round trip from the western basin to Buffalo, a journey of over 200 miles, in 20 days. The same fish does it twice annually.

Rich Fliss, Chuck Giglia, Maria Perrotte, Lauren Vargo, Pete Harvey, Mark Shriver, Tom Hersey and Captain Jim Steel display some of their catch from VIP Day.

On the other hand, one tagged female walleye has moved very little for the last 5 years. The study showed that for the most part eastern basin fish stay at home compared to western basin walleye. Cool!

The VIP day event has been around over a decade and it takes a lot of preparation to be a success. Two stalwarts that need to be recognized for their efforts are Captain Lance Ehrhardt and Zen Olow who do hours and days of leg work, telephone calls and communication to make this a success. The Charter Association and volunteers provide a memorable experience for people who may never know what a valuable resource our fishery provides. The meal better be good, if you want to impress and they lost their chef Captain Phil Swiatkowski, who passed away last year. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club members did a great job filling in.

The walleye were all donated from fishing tournaments and cleaned by Captain Lance, Olow, Captain Frank Schoenaker, Jim Shut and Jason from the DEC. The Con Club Ladies Auxiliary again are fantastic and there is a video of the production on Chautauqua County YouTube if you are interested. The weather co-operated and so did the fish making the 2019 VIP Day memorable. A tip of the hat to all who made it another success.

Calendar: Aug. 23 and 24 are the dates for the one of the last walleye tournaments locally. This event is Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge run by Jim and Diane Steel. The deadline to enter this year’s event is Saturday at midnight. Entry fee is $500 for the main event on Saturday and an additional $100 for the Big Fish Friday event. For more information contact Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com

The 43 annual Greater Niagara Fall Classic Fish Odyssey Derby, a multi species fishing event is Aug. 17-25. Kids fish free with $14,000 in prizes. Go to www.fishodyssey.net.

OBSERVER Photos by Gene Pauszek Captain Lance Ehrhardt, Zen Olow, Jim Shut, Jason, and Frank Schoenaker cleaned hundreds of walleye that were donated for the VIP day, over the course of four days.

The Erie County Fair is going on from Aug. 7 until 18. Make sure you stop by the Conservation Building and say Hi!

The Lake Ontario Counties (LOC) Fall fishing derby is Aug. 16-Sept. 2. Go to www.loc.org.

Aug. 16 is a one day, Ladies Only tournament out of Olcott harbor called Reeling for a Cure. Call Stephanie at 716-481-6388 for details.

Lakeshore Longbeards our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will conduct JAKES Day Youth event on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Westfield Fish & Game Club. Registration will start at 9 a.m. Fee is $10 per youth. Numerous hands-on learning stations and lunch will be provided for all. Open to the public. For more information contact Bob Turk at 673-6703. The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club Walleye Tournament is Aug. 2-4. Contact person is Zen Olow at 640-2776. Daily coverage in the OBSERVER.

The Sportsmans Rendezvous at the Cattaraugus County County Fair Grounds in Little Valley will be from Aug. 8-10. Call 716-474-7251 or 244-2781 for details.

Aug. 11 is the Chautauqua Bassmasters Tournament No. 3 on Chautauqua Lake/Long Point State Park. Contact Mike Russo at 640-6915. Innovative Outdoors Walleye Challenge out of Dunkirk is Aug. 23-24. Contact Jim Steel at 481-5348 or go to www.innovative-outdoors.com.

There will be a Hunter Safety Training Course at the Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club on Aug. 21 and 22 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two day attendance is mandatory. There will be a bow course at the Con Club on Sept. 21 from 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. The trapping course will be on Sept. 14 from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

The Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club will host: Bow Course on Aug. 14 and 15, from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. The Hunter Education Course will be on Aug. 28 and 29, from 5:30 p.m. until 9:30 p.m.

There will be a bow Course at the Westfield Fish & Game Club on Sept. 11 and 12, from 6 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. There will be a Trapping Course at the Falconer Rod & Gun Club on Sept. 25 and 27, from 5:30 p.m. until 10. For more information Call Gary at 366-3397.

Before you know it waterfowl season will be upon us. Anyone wishing to hunt any of the national or state Waterfowl refuges or state parks, has to complete a NY Waterfowl Identification Course. First you must register for the course at https:register-ed.co/programs/new-york/129. Then complete the assigned homework before attending the class. Figure on two hours. You can get help by referencing Ducks at a Distance: A Waterfowl ID Guide found at www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/92272.html. For more information call 379-6376. Remaining courses are at: Aug. 18- Alden Rod & Gun Club 12 County line Road. Alden from 8 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. – Aug. 19 at Somerset Conservation Club 1129 Johnson Creek Road, Baker from 6 to 10 p.m.

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.

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