Southtowns Walleye unveils club awards winners
The Southtowns Walleye Association of WNY, one of the largest walleye clubs in the world, recently held its 2016 Harry A. Smith Awards Banquet to honor the unsung volunteers and club leaders for all of their unselfish work behind the scenes.
The Harry A. Smith Memorial Award, which is presented for years of outstanding service and dedication to the club, went to Sam Schrecengost, active on the board, the fish pond and the tournament committee. He has been always looking for ways to engage youth, looking to the future.
Conservationist of the Year went to former Buffalo News Outdoor Writer Will Elliott of Pavilion for all of his dedicated service through the years. Public Relations Person of the Year went to not one, but two individuals – a team: Amy and Brian Plecas for all their work on the club website and newsletter. Youth of the Year Award was given to Vittoria Woodworth, for always helping with club activities.
The James Ridge Memorial Award for outstanding volunteerism the past year went to Franklin Thompson for all of his committee work in 2016. The Larry Scheffler Memorial Award for extended volunteerism over several years went to Tim Kuczka. Mike McCloud received a special recognition award for rescuing a fellow fisherman last May during the club’s perch contest. Bob Merrick won the Lou Podger Award for the senior member (over 65) who caught the largest walleye during the club’s tournament (10.57 pound walleye); and President Dave “Woody” Woodworth gave out three special President’s Awards for their hard work – Harold Gross, Mike McCloud and Rick Pilarski.
Gould to serve as speaker for TU Meeting
Joe Gould of the Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper will be the featured speaker when the WNY Chapter of Trout Unlimited will be holding its monthly meeting at Orvis Buffalo, 4545 Transit Road, Williamsville on March 28. Gould will be talking about the habitat work being conducted in Crow Creek, a small wild brook trout stream near Attica. As is customary with these TU meetings, fly tying starts at 6 p.m.; the meeting will begin at 7 p.m. This would be a good time to attend with the opening day of the inland trout and salmon season set for April 1.
Seamon wins grand prize of Winter Classic
Tyler Seamon of Ridgefield was the lucky first place angler in a special drawing of seven first-place category winners at Cabela’s in Cheektowaga last week as the Winter Classic came to an official close. Seamon won the Pike Division of the NY State Winter Classic Fishing Tournament, held Jan. 1 through Feb. 28, by weighing in a 21.51 pound pike from Delta Lake. He won $2,500, sponsored by Clam Outdoors. Ice Team Pro Scott Brauer of Gasport was the draw master.
Lynn Thomson Jr. of Camillus won the Trout Division with a 21.85 pound laker, reeled in through the ice at Chaumont Bay in eastern Lake Ontario. It was the largest fish caught in the statewide tournament and his unique prize was a Case Canoe Package valued at over $5,000. Largest steelhead was a 16-pound Salmon River fish reeled in by Jay Mahar and he won a $1,500 Steve Nielsen Stainless Artistic Steelhead. First place in the Walleye Division was a 14.60 pound fish caught by Thomas Carney of Chaumont while fishing in his home waters. Top pickerel was a 7.30-pound fish caught by Scott Castor of Adams; top crappie was 2.30 pounds and weighed in by Parker Umbra from Bainbridge; and Steve Ball of Alden collected top honors in the panfish category with a 1.09 pound Honeoye Lake bluegill. For more information check out www.nyswinterclassic.com.
PA deer harvest totals
The Keystone State announced its deer harvest totals for 2016-17, and hunters harvested a total of 33,254 deer – an increase of about 6 percent from the previous year. The 2015-16 take was 315,813. Hunters also tagged nearly 150,000 antlered deer – about a 9 percent increase from the previous year and the highest antlered total since 2002. The antlerless total was also up 3 percent from the previous season.
The percentage of older bucks was also high, with 56 percent of all antlered deer taken being 2ø years old or older. However, in 2015-16, the percentage was 59 percent.