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How to help protect eagles throughout New York State

The Department of Environmental Conservation has established a Bald and Golden Eagle Conservation Plan to protect statewide habitat areas for these raptors.

Human disturbances of nesting areas can result in predation of nests, nest abandonment or cause young eaglets to fall from or leave nests prematurely.

The program includes maintaining at least 200 breeding pairs statewide and protection of the wintering eagle population. Actions include working with landowners and developers doing projects near nesting areas.

State and federal laws prohibit disturbing nesting areas. The DEC recommends human activity be limited to at least 330 feet from an established nest site. “In some cases, the NYSDEC may recommend a 660-foot buffer or larger,” noted a DEC announcement.

The DEC plan can be viewed at dec.ny.gov/animals/74052.

Free steelie classes

The Orvis store in Eastern Hills Mall is offering a series of free Steelhead Fly Fishing 101 classes on Saturdays in July and Aug. 6 and 13.

Classes go from 8-11 a.m., covering proper rigs, flies, presentations and where to go for steelhead trout and salmon in and around Western New York.

Classes are hands-on. Attendance offers special discounts on gear, but space is limited. For more details and to register, call 276-7200 or drop by the store at 4545 Transit Road in Williamsville.

Fair mounts

Erie County Fair gates open Aug. 10 and Conservation Building activity plans are in place for exhibitors and mount-competition submissions. A $20 fee covers as many mount entries as an individual submits. Winning entries receive ribbons, cash prizes and fair tickets.

Entry deadline is Aug. 5 for mounts and exhibitor setups in the building. For more details, call 649-3900 (ext. 6407) or visit ecfair.org.

Tree-mendous

The New York Chapter of American Chestnut Tree Foundation is offering a $200 reward for the largest American chestnut tree found in New York State. A $50 reward is offered for healthy chestnut trees at a height of 14 feet or greater.

The largest-tree entry must be more than 18 feet in height and not previously recorded with TACF-NY. Winning trees must be found in the state in 2016 and the land owner must allow TACF personnel access for pollination or for seed collection.

For more details on the rewards program and for tree identification, call (607) 263-5105 or email: fajknichols.75@gmail.com.

Daisy sold to Gamo

Most young shooters, including Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” got a Daisy air rifle for a first shooting piece. The Daisy Company has produced air guns since 1886.

Last week, Gamo Outdoor USA, part of BRS, a New York-based private equity company, acquired Daisy Outdoor products. The Daisy company also makes PowerLine and Winchester air rifles, Avanti training and match air guns and ammo products and accessories. To view the entire line of Gamo shooting products, visit gamousa.com.

Free fishing guides

A new version of the WNY Hot Spot Fishing Map is available, offering angling-related information for all water areas of Chautauqua, Erie and Niagara counties.

The map shows key spots for specific species, contact info for regional fishing clubs, charter captains and services, travel information, shore fishing sites, and other useful area fishing facts.

For a free copy, visit visitbuffaloniagara.com, tourchautauqua.com, or niagara-usa.com.

email: odrswill@gmail.com