WNY Brook Trout Featured at TU Meeting
The Western New York Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be convening for its monthly meeting on Oct. 25 at the Donovan American Legion Post, 3210 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, starting at 7:30 p.m. Featured speaker will be Tom Hoffman of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service based out of the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge. He has been conducting a genetic study on adult brook trout in Region 9, with the assistance of the NYSDEC Fisheries personnel based in the Allegany office. Hoffman will be presenting results of that study. “This should be a fascinating presentation,” says Chuck Godfrey with TU. “There are far more wild brook trout streams in Region 9 than most of us could imagine.” The meeting is open to the public.
Duck, Goose Seasons Open
The Western Zone waterfowl season for ducks, coots and mergansers, as well as the South and West-Central areas for Canada goose, will be opening up on Saturday, Oct. 22 starting one-half hour before sunrise. It can be a little confusing with the boundaries for geese and you need to pay attention to how long the seasons are open. For instance, the duck season is open through Dec. 4 with a daily limit of six birds with some restrictions on species. The South Area goose season is open through Dec. 17 with a daily limit of five birds per day. The West-Central goose area is only open through Nov. 24 and the daily limit is three birds per day. Check out the DEC website for additional details at www.dec.ny.gov.
As far as places to hunt, several area state parks offer blind opportunities. Beaver Island State Park, West River Parkway, Strawberry and Motor islands have lottery drawings for waterfowl blinds every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting at 6:30 pm sharp in the basement of the Beaver Island Clubhouse. Use the back door closest to parking lot No. 2. Doors open at 6 pm. Call 773-3271 for questions.
The lottery draws for Joseph Davis, Wilson-Tuscarora and Golden Hill state parks will take place on Thursdays for the most part (except Thanksgiving, where the drawing will take place that Wednesday before) starting at 6:30 p.m. sharp in the Fort Niagara Maintenance Building in Youngstown. The first drawing takes place Oct. 20.
There are some requirements to be eligible for the drawings. You must have a current small game license, a Federal duck stamp, a Harvest Information Program number and you must have successfully completed a state Waterfowl Identification Course. You must also have a dog or boat for retrievals. Blind No. 2 at Fort Niagara will not be available during the week due to boat ramp renovations that are taking place. The south ramp is currently closed. For more information call 745-7273.
The Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge is open for waterfowl hunting each Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The first two Saturdays are closed because of a previously held lottery drawing. Every other drawing will take place at the waterfowl permit station along Route 77 in Alabama starting at 5 am.
Low Water Issues
With the opening of waterfowl seasons this weekend, the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding hunters that drought conditions have negatively impacted popular hunting areas like Iroquois and Montezuma National Wildlife Refuges, as well as Northern Montezuma, Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas. The lack of water and the growth of vegetation forced DEC to reduce the number of available hunting permits by 40 percent at the Tonawanda and Oak Orchard sites. Permits are needed only opening weekend and if you didn’t apply last month you are out of luck this Saturday and Sunday. During the remainder of the waterfowl seasons, no permit is required at these WMAs. However, you might want to do some preseason scouting to see what areas have been impacted the most by the drought.
Fly Fishing Film Tour Nov. 5 at Holiday Valley
Adventure Bound on the Fly and Holiday Valley Ski Resort have combined to host the 2016 Fly Fishing Film Tour on Saturday, Nov. 5 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. This film takes you on a fly fishing journey around the globe, showing off such exotic places as Bolivia, Patagonia, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Zambia, Montana and Virginia. Ticket price is $25 pre-sale; $30 at the door. Ticket price includes the film ticket, a beverage, John Harvard’s Brick Oven Pizza and an opportunity for raffles and door prizes. The event will be held at Holiday Valley, 6557 Holiday Valley Road, Ellicottville. Call 217-4047 for more formation. You can purchase a ticket at http://flyfilmtour.ticketfly.com/event/1328531-2016-fly-fishing-film-tour-ellicottville.
Furbearer Hunting, Trapping Seasons Open Oct. 25
Hunter and trappers will be pursuing furbearers such as bobcat, raccoon and fox starting Oct. 25. There are also some new trapping regulations in place for fisher and marten. Check out the DEC website at www.dec.ny.gov for specific details.
This is the fourth year of a “Harvest Expansion Area” for bobcats. This includes Wildlife Management Units 8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X and 9Y. The season runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 18. Bobcat hunters and trappers are required to obtain a special permit from the regional DEC office. Other requirements are no longer needed such as activity logs, skull, jaw or carcass. The permit is free.
A free permit must also be obtained for fisher and marten trappers, as well as other requirements. There is also a new six-day fisher season in expanded areas including 8T, 8W, 8X, 8Y, 9J, 9K, 9M, 9N, 9P, 9R, 9S, 9T, 9W, 9X and 9Y. The permit is available from the DEC regional office as well. Special permits can be requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Region 9 office phone number is 372-0645.