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Contests warm up hard-water anglers

Anglers adapted to the cold have two cool contests to heat up competition on ice and on open waters.

The Wilson Tuscarora/Wilson Harbor Ice Fishing Contest offers hard-water anglers prizes in four categories (trout, pike, perch, and any panfish species) during sunrise to noon fishing in Wilson Harbor on Saturday.

Children under age 12 can fish for free or enter as a paying adult to compete for prizes. Each entrant can have measured one fish for each category and each contestant can accept winnings in only one category.

An awards picnic will be set up after noon in the harbor. Adults and competing youths pay a $10 entry fee, which includes picnic fare. For registration details, call Pete Marotta at Feather & Fur Bait Shop in Wilson (425-3018).

High-flying steelie stoppers will be landing at Lewiston come Feb. 12.

The Niagara River Anglers Association's Annual Roger Tobey Memorial Steelhead Contest pits anglers working lower Niagara River and Lake Ontario waters (lake and tributaries) in a contest that awards the top three heaviest steelhead trout.

Entrants signed up before Feb. 7 will be entered in an Early Bird Drawing. An awards dinner (food and liquid libations) starts at 3 p.m. at Lewiston Fire Hall No. 1. For more contest details, check with Paul or Linda Jackson at 998-8910, 946-6811, or 731-4780 or go to niagarariveranglers.com.

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>Sizable steelhead

Lancaster angler Brandon Mazurek, 18, has fished since he could walk streams. But Mazurek has keyed on steelhead trout fishing, particularly in Cayuga Creek, since age 14.

While fishing below the Lake Avenue Bridge in the village on Jan. 6, he hooked into a steelie that would make a Great Lakes boater boast. His purple leech streamer fly attracted a trout that took about a half hour to bring to land. That trout measured 34.5 inches.

Brandon plans to take his wall-worthy trophy to Jim Block at The Buck Stops Here! Taxidermy in North Tonawanda.

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>Feeding Boo Boo a no-no

Those Yogi Bear and Boo Boo cartoons aside, wild black bear ranges have expanded statewide, creating conflict conditions bigger than a picnic basket.

An increase in bear-man encounters prompted Department of Environmental Conservation officials to announce a ban on feeding bears beginning Jan. 21. The new regulation bars intentional feeding of bears and also prohibits incidental or indirect feeding at sites of garbage, refuse, or bird-feeding.

In areas where black bear movement has been observed, DEC officials recommend discontinuing bird feeding when bears begin foraging during springtime warmth.

For details on the new regulation, go to dos.state.ny.us/info/register/2011/jan12/pdfs/rules.prf.

e-mail: odrswill@gmail.com

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