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Despite warm days, ice still strong on some lakes

Submitted Photo Some nice yellow perch caught at Mayville on Thursday.

There is still plenty of safe ice on most of the inland lakes.

Zach at Hogan’s Hut in Stow reports that on Chautauqua Lake there is still 10 inches of ice, but the warm spell has put about 5 to 6 inches of slush on top making walking any great distance a bit difficult. Not much has changed from last week with lots of smaller-sized fish being the norm. Hogan’s Hut will be having a fishing contest featuring walleye on Saturday, March 6. Anglers must be in line for the weigh-in by 7 p.m. Entry fee is $25 per adult and $15 for youths (15 years of age and under). There will be a 100% payout for the top two or three heaviest walleye depending on the amount of entries.

Yellow perch in a variety of sizes continue to be the most active species on Chautauqua Lake especially at the Mayville end.

The Buffalo Small Boat Harbor has also been producing perch with two out of 10 fish being in the 8-inch range. Rick Miller in Irving commented that earlier in the week several anglers did head out on Lake Erie for walleye.

Out of a group of about 10 anglers, all connected with walleye between 18 and 22 inches in length. The guys headed out mostly on foot about 2 miles out, with one angler using a snowmobile. By the end of the trip the ice shifted and the guys had to make a long detour to avoid open water. Wind and ice conditions have since changed eliminating any possibility of returning to that active area for now. March is knocking on the door and safe ice will continue to deteriorate. Use caution. Anglers can expect early crappie action at the south end of Chautauqua Lake later in March. Captain Larry Jones commented that anglers have been picking up a few brown trout and lake trout drifting the Niagara River near the fort. Look for limited open water on area streams as the weather warms up.

CALENDAR

¯ Our local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the Lakeshore Longbeards will be having a meeting on Monday at Liberty Vineyards located on Route 20, Sheridan. The meeting will start at 4 p.m. and is open to the public. Wear a mask and social distancing will be applied. The Lakeshore Longbeards, like many other organizations have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They will not be having their annual fundraiser banquet this year. Instead they are offering a 30-day gun raffle ticket. The ticket costs $25 and includes a membership to the National Wild Turkey Federation. The winning number will be determined by the NYS evening lottery number drawn for the entire month of June 2021. All guns have a cash value of at least $250. If you don’t want a gun you can take the cash option. This raffle hopefully will help keep the NWTF in a position to survive the pandemic. For tickets or more information contact: Scott Dibble at the Sinclairville Supertte or call 680-3715; Leroy Franklin at 679-5862; Rich Lazarczyk at 595-3917; Gary Dudek at 366-3397; Bob Turk Sr. at 673-6703; Bob Turk Jr. at 673-6705 or Gary Burmaster at 672-4520 or stop in at Liberty Vineyards in Sheridan. Thank You.

¯ The Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting applications for people interested in the Cooperative Day-Old Chick Program which allows people to participate in raising and releasing pheasants to enhance fall hunting opportunities. The day-old chicks are available at no cost from the Reynolds Game Farm. Approved applicants will receive the chicks in April, May or June. None of these chicks can be release at private shooting preserves and all release sites must be pre-approved in advance by the DEC and open for public pheasant hunting opportunities. Applicants are required to provide shelter and daily care to the rapidly growing chicks, monitor the birds’ health and ensure the chicks have adequate feed and water. Filing deadline is March 25. A Pheasants Rearing Guide and applications are available on the DEC’s website. Email wildlife@dec.ny.gov or call 607-273-2768.

¯ Southtowns Walleye Association is making plans for another great walleye tournament in 2021. The pandemic has shut down the monthly meetings for now. There will be a great early-bird prize raffle for the members. You can keep in touch online with other club activities by going to www.southtownswalleye.com/derby.

¯ The New York State Winter Fishing Classic Fishing Tournament is from Jan. 1 until Feb. 28. This event is open to all NYS waters. For details go to www.nyiceproam.com.

¯ If you have a story or a photo you would like to share call 366-1772, 785-3659 or 366-3000, ext 3 after 6 p.m. Leave a name and number and a time you can be reached.

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