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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Plenty of trout seen in Chautauqua area streams

By GENE PAUSZEK, OBSERVER Outdoors Columnist
POSTED: March 25, 2009
Spring has finally arrived and the fish are hungry.
Ice fishing is all but a recent memory, but there is plenty of opportunity to wet a line while standing on terra firma. All reports point to plenty of trout in area streams and trubutaries. Gerri Begier at Bill's Hooks reports anglers have been doing very well locally using flies, as well as eggs. Look for good concentrations of trout as long as the water levels remain comfortable for the fish as well as the temperature. Lee Weber in Evans reports the creeks out toward Sturgeon Point and farther east also are "loaded with trout and fishermen." Eggs, minnows (both live and salted) and artificial presentations like flies are all taking fish. Weber also commented that he has increased his inventory of flies due to the ever increasing demand for these minute food simulators. From a personal view point, many feel it is encouraging to note that more and more fishermen are embracing the concept of fair hooking fish as opposed to foul hooking or snagging these fish. According to surveys conducted by the Department of Environmental Conservation, many of these fish caught on artificials are also released by anglers. Successfully catching fish on artificials also decreases the anglers need to kill fish that are laden with eggs, which in turn will possibly contribute to the life cycle of these trout and decrease the need for stocking.
Locally the trout activity off the City of Dunkirk Pier has been hot and cold. On Monday, most all the anglers were able to connect with trout and the next day was slow. The wind will have an impact on this type of fishing success, especially when it is moving the ice pack. If a strong east wind is blowing, look for the fishing to be slow. The hot water current in the harbor has been sparse lately with boaters reporting cold temperatures recorded in that area. Most of the trout success has been attributed to bait tipped jigs suspended under floats or bobbers.
Lisa Green at the Happy Hooker Bait & Tackle reports the south end of the lake is ice free and anglers have been catching a few crappie in the channels. Note that a lot of the land access is on private property so anglers attempting to use these areas need to heed posted signs, or if access is permitted to keep the area clean and litter free.
Bullheads have been on the feed in the Dunkirk Harbor area especially towards evening. Live minnows, shrimp, salted minnows and cut bait will work when the fish are on the feed.
Calendar: The Little Valley Volunteer Fire Dept. will host their Sportsman Show on April 4 and April 5 at the Cattaraugus County Fair Grounds. The event is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 and kids under 12 are admitted free. Call Jim Miller at 938-6928 for information.
The Chautauqua Sports Fishery Advisory Board will meet on March 26 at 7 p.m. in Room 331 of the Gerace Building in Mayville.
There is a Hunter Safety Training Course at the Westfield Rod & Gun Club on Monday, April 6 at 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. and returning on Saturday, April 11 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students must be at least 12 years old and attend both days for certification. Call 326-3218 for information.
Ellery Rod & Gun Club will offer a safety Course on April 24 from 6 to 10 p.m. returning on April 25 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Pre-registration is necessary by stopping at the club located on Pancake Hill Road on April 18 from 9 a.m. to noon. Call 484-8009 for information.
There will be a Hunter safety training course (gun) at the Bear Lake Rod & Gun Club on Friday, April 3 from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m., and returning on Saturday, April 4, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Pre-register at Cassadaga Shurfine and pick up your instruction book. The class is limited to 30 students. Note there will also be a Bow course at the same club on April 18 from 8 a.m until 4 p.m.
The Northern Chautauqua Conservation Club will host a Hunter Safety Course (gun) on April 15 and April 16 from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. Two-day attendance is mandatory. Sign up on April 15. The class is limited to 60 students.
Gene Pauszek is an outdoor columnist for the OBSERVER.

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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Holiday Valley March Events

Bumps - Skimming - Music - Games - Auction - FUN!
Saturday, March 28
in this issue
Chili Cookoff
Celebrate the coming of Spring with all of your friends at Holiday Valley. Join us for the Bump or Burn Dual Mogul Comp, Pondskimming, a fantastic auction, games, raffles and the newest addition...the Great Ellicottville Chili Cookoff!
Pondskimming, 1:00 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
pond skimming crowdGet wet or just watch...this hilarious event is sure to entertain. Skiers or riders attempt to skim across an icy pond at the bottom of Yodeler. Registration begins at 11 AM at Yodeler, Skimming starts at 1:00. Prizes for the best dressed, best crash, best impersonation and crowd favorite.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Attitudes Remain Positive In Real Estate Sales

By Sharon Turano
POSTED: March 17, 2009

Area realtors are holding on to hope for the spring and summer home-buying seasons, despite drops in figures for the number of area home sales compared to last year.
Rick McMahon, president of the local board of realtors, said the New York State Association of Realtors' figures sent to him recently report that in January 2008, the median sales price for a Chautauqua County home was $68,700 when 48 homes were sold in the county.
In January 2009, he said, the median sales price was $63,650, when 35 homes were sold.
McMahon said ''a little weight'' could be placed on the economy for the decreases, but, he attributed sales drops more to ''the seasonal situation.''
''It's been an ungodly brutal winter,'' McMahon said, adding people don't want to go out and look at homes when it's 17 degrees outside. Despite that, he said, there has been ''an uptic in phone calls'' recently for both residences and those wanting to look at purchasing homes along the lake.
It is a good time to buy, he said.
''It's a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing,'' said McMahon about a federal $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers that has been made available by the federal government. McMahon said interest rates are hovering at about 5 percent and programs are available to subsidize closing costs.
''There's never been that kind of convergence before,'' he said about all of the factors coming together at once to make it a good time to buy a home.
''It's definitely gone down,'' said Chautauqua County Clerk Sandra Sopak about the number of deeds recorded in her office. She said there is usually a downturn during winter months when people don't want to move or pull children out of one district midway through the school year to start in another school when they could wait to buy a home in a new location during the summer months.
''People classically ... sit tight through the winter here,'' said Mrs. Sopak, adding that ''stands to reason.''
Despite that, however, she said, there has been a 20 percent decrease in deeds filed, in addition to what is usually seen in winter. She attributes that to different factors, including the economy, people losing jobs, a new U.S. president leading to people's uncertainty about the future.
She said in January and February 2008, her office recorded 563 deeds for property transfers. Although there was an increase for the same time period in 2009, when 593 deeds were recorded, she attributed 146 deed transfers to the county tax sale held in September for the first time in four years. She said that although the sale was held in September, paperwork was not fully completed until the January, February time frame. Therefore, she said, if one subtracts the146 tax sale deeds, the 20 percent decline of 447 properties sold for January, February 2009 would be accurate.
''We're not at a down right now,'' said Tony Parinella, office manager at Coldwell Banker Phil Mathyer Real Estate. He said the local real estate market never made huge amounts of money, so it has not seen declines evidenced in other areas, where homes sold for huge amounts and recently took a nose-dive due to people not being able to afford purchasing the higher-priced homes.
''We've been fairly busy,'' he said, adding other states are feeling the hardship more. Parinella said the area real estate market is steady and stable in Chautauqua County.
Existing single-family home sales in 2008 across New York State fell by 16.2 percent compared to 2007 due to tighter mortgage availability, a shrinking economy and a decline in consumer confidence, according to preliminary single-family sales data accumulated by the New York State Association of Realtors', their Web site states. The statewide median sales price also finished the year down 8.5 percent compared to 2007, reports the Web site.

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Holiday Valley

Great Snow will be Even Greater!

Although there is only one month left of the 2008-09 season, HolidayValley is making snow tonight, March 12. Temperatures will be very cold for this time of the year and they are perfect for snowmaking. Despite having a substantial base of snow, we felt that the resort should take advantage of the cold night time temperatures. The new manmade snow along with the 3" of natural snow that fell Thursday morning will be groomed in with the existing surface to make an ideal skiing surface for the upcoming Winter Carnival this weekend and Canadian March Break next week.

Snowmaking will take place from approximately 11 PM Thursday though 7:00 AM Friday.

Looking for a new home? Visit our website:
C. Rick & Julia McMahon
Real Estate Advantage Realty
716-483-3300 or 484-2020

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sales of completed condos at Bemus Bay under way

BEMUS POINT The first round of sales are being completed at the newly constructed Bemus Bay condominiums, according to the project developers.
The Bemus Bay development features 40 Chautauqua Lake homes in two buildings, named Browning and Columbian, that have been architecturally designed to resemble the two, early 20th century hotels of the same names that once stood on the site.
Each of the homes at Bemus Bay,,/ includes a private boat slip on Chautauqua Lake as well as secured entry, handicapped access, elevator service, a garage and reserved parking spaces.
Four different floor plans with three bedrooms and two or three baths include air conditioning, granite countertops, master suites with whirlpool baths, easy access to the courtyard's heated swimming pool and hot tub, and a stunning view of Chautauqua Lake.
"This is a magnificent project and we are very excited to be completing home sales and seeing the owners moving in," said Bemus Point Investments LLC project co-developer Lee Chilcote. He said many of the homes were pre-sold during construction and he expects sales to grow this spring and summer now that there are just some finishing touches to be completed.
"We have some minor items, mostly exterior work, that will be addressed this spring," said co-developer Paul Goldberg. "When people arrive this summer they will see a beautiful new development, fully landscaped with an inviting pool and hot tub. Bemus Bay offers high-quality homes for year-round enjoyment."

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Monday, March 02, 2009

Chautauqua Home Sales Holding there Own

Median Sales Price of Existing Single Family Homes January 2007-January 2009

Jan 07 Jan 08 Jan 09 % of Change
Chautauqua $60,250 $68,700 $63,650 5.6

Cattaraugus $70,000 $62,000 $48,500 -30.7

Homes SOLD:

Chautauqua 70 48 35 -50

Cattaraugus 51 41 29 -43.1

* A major contributing factor to the decline in SF home sales is the harsh 08-09 winter the incentive to look at homes is diminished greatly with piles of snow and 0-20 degree weather. Relief of this WNY fact of winter life will help drive the market into the spring and summer months.

For New York home buyers there may never be a better time to buy a home than today. Today's market boasts improved affordability, historically low mortgage rates and a great inventory of homes to choose from. Plus first time home buyers have added benefit of a new $8,000 federal tax credit.

Source: New York State Association of Realtors

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