Scattershot: Outdoors news & notes - The Buffalo News
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Scattershot: Outdoors news & notes

Wilson to Stock Salmon in 2017

For the first time in nearly 25 years, the port of Wilson in Niagara County will be stocking Chinook salmon in the harbor, utilizing a holding pen which will help increase the survival of the fish being planted by the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation. A total of 10,000 salmon will be earmarked for the pen.

Members of the Niagara County Fisheries Development Board made the recommendation to Region 9 DEC at its Nov. 29 meeting which, coincidentally, was held at the Wilson Town Hall. To make up the stocking effort, a total of 5,000 direct-stock Olcott salmon and 15,000 direct-stock Niagara River salmon will be transferred to Wilson this spring. Moving direct stocked salmon to pens will be treated on a 2 to 1 basis, based on the results of a study that was completed this year. That’s the reason that the Wilson effort is a 10,000 fish project. Previously, Wilson has penned steelhead in the harbor with an excellent success rate for growth and survival.

Winter 3-D League Schedule Set

Jerry Gorski with Evans Rod and Gun Club has passed along the Western New York Winter 3-D League schedule for archers starting Jan. 8 at West Falls Conservatiooun Club. Other participating clubs include Collins Conservation Club, Glen Coe Conservation Club and the Evans Rod and Gun Club, alternating every Sunday for 12 weeks. The final shoot-off is April 2 at Collins. Cost is $10 per week for adults; junior archers 12 to 16 years old are charged $2 per week. Walk-on shooters welcomed. For general rules and more information contact league president Ike Loretto at 803-9096.

Late Season Waterfowl Hunt, Park Blinds

Waterfowl hunters should take note that the late season waterfowl hunt for ducks and geese will be kicking off on Dec. 31 this year, a bit later than in years past. Traditionally, the season would open on Dec. 26, the day after Christmas. The Western Zone hunt for ducks, coots and mergansers will be Dec. 31 to Jan. 15. Those same dates are set for Canada goose seasons in the South and West-Central areas.

If you are interested in taking advantage of waterfowl blinds in area state parks, Beaver Island State Park will be holding lottery drawings every Monday, Wednesday and Friday starting on Dec. 30 and ending on Jan. 13, 2017 at 6:30 p.m. sharp in the basement of the Beaver Island clubhouse.To be eligible for the lottery drawings, you must have a small game license, a Federal duck stamp, a Harvest Information Program number and a Waterfowl Identification Course card. A boat is also required for the hunt. For more information call 773-3271 during regular business hours.

Drawings for Fort Niagara, Joseph Davis, Wilson-Tuscarora and Golden Hill state parks will be held on Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Niagara State Park Maintenance Building. Drawings will be Dec. 29, Jan. 5 and 12. For more information call 745-7273.

Deer Harvest Update

A recent update from the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) shows that hunters reported about 5 percent more deer during the regular season this year than they did last year during the same timeframe in the Southern Zone. In addition, hunters have reported 9 percent more deer statewide and across all deer seasons according to DEC. The big-game season concludes with the muzzleloader and late archery seasons, which is currently underway. Those special hunts end on Dec. 20.

There are some special hunts that take place in December and January. Tompkins County offers a hunt in a Deer Management Focus Area from Jan. 14 to 31. Westchester County can hunt deer until the end of December. The Suffolk County season runs through Jan. 31, 2017.

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