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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